In September, we announced the launch of a new interdisciplinary center focused on solutions to local, regional, and global challenges related to ocean warming.
As has become widely known, research from our lab has shown that, over the last 30 years, the Gulf of Maine warmed at a rate of 0.06°C per year (0.11°F per year) — faster than 99% of the global ocean, and more than three times the global average.
By creating a new virtual center within our existing Commercial Street lab in Portland, we will leverage our unique mix of science, education, and community expertise to provide forward-looking leadership.
“We’ve spent the last decade identifying warming trends and associated challenges in our bioregion,” said CEO/President Don Perkins. “We’ll spend the next decade identifying solutions to some of these challenges and helping coastal communities adapt to a warmer future. We know the solutions we develop locally will be relevant to other communities around the world as they grapple with similar challenges.”
Major climate projects are already underway. In the last year, we have raised and deployed more than $2 million in federal and national foundation funding on projects that contribute to the resiliency of communities throughout the Gulf of Maine.
In addition to regional warming trends, the new climate center builds on our recent global research, which reflects the need for communities to make forward-looking decisions in the face of change.
In the coming months and years, new funding and expanded partnerships will magnify the impact of the new climate center, which will support climate-ready fishery management, aquaculture business planning, community adaptation, seafood supply chain innovation, and analysis and advice on mitigation policy options.