Road to Solutions — Environmental & Social Justice

We’re All in This Together: Participatory Planning for Community-Based Climate Change Adaptation

Vacationland. Take one look at Maine’s license plate and you see the widespread importance of tourism to the state. Maine’s natural resources attract visitors from all over the world but are also vulnerable to climate change, which is likely to impact visitors as well as communities dependent on tourism. This project seeks to move beyond traditional power structures and collaborate with community partners to co-develop locally relevant, useful climate change solutions. The result of this collaboration will be a participatory framework to build climate-planning capacity within tourism-dependent communities.

Collaborating Toward Climate Solutions

The research and engagement of Collaborating Toward Climate Solutions (CTCS) is designed to support on-the-ground problem-solving for the complex challenges that communities face with climate change. The research team is working closely with community partners to co-develop strategies and extension/assistance services to foster adaptation and resilience. This includes learning about community priorities and challenges and identifying potential service-provider partners, best practices, and the potential for networks that enable towns to connect with peer communities.

Enhancing Equity Outcomes for the Maine Climate Council

Through this project, the Mitchell Center is assisting the Maine Climate Council to understand and improve the extent to which the draft strategies being considered as part of the council’s Climate Action Plan ensure that the benefits of climate protection efforts are distributed equitably. The team is also addressing inequities in how the burdens created by climate change and the policies designed to alleviate it may affect people and communities.

Pathways and Barriers to Weaving Indigenous Science with Western Science

Sustainability science is best when bringing together different forms of knowledge to address societal problems. This research project addresses the barriers and pathways of bringing indigenous science (IS) together with western academic science.

Integrating and Sharing Data to Support Resilience in Coastal Maine Communities

Understanding the barriers and opportunities for integrating and sharing data from disparate sources is critical to create more usable knowledge that fits within existing social and political structures. This project provides a solution to tailor data integration and information sharing to the specific needs of key stakeholder groups—state and federal regulators, industry developers, and a tribal environmental program.

Strengthening Coastal Economies

In January 2017, the Mitchell Center launched the Strengthening Coastal Economies project as part of the Diana Davis Spencer Partnership for a Sustainable Maine. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to develop, implement and evaluate solutions to complex problems requiring a careful balance between economic development and environmental preservation.

Making Maine’s Local Food System Sustainable: Opportunities to Address Hunger and Reduce Waste

This project builds and expands on the 2018 Food Waste Reduction project which was focused on food loss, food waste, and barriers to establishing a circular food system and environmental sustainability while addressing food insecurity.

Mobilizing to Fight the Emerald Ash Borer

The invasive emerald ash borer could decimate Maine’s ash trees—and jeopardize the livelihoods of Maine’s Indian basket makers, who rely on the tree for their time-honored craft…