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Celebrating 25 Years of Stewardship

The Island Trail T H E N E W S L E T T E R O F T H E M A I N E I S L A N D T R A I L A S S O C I AT I O N S U M M E R 2 0 1 3

‘Rock Hop Photo Op’ Needs Member Photos MITA is planning a celebratory trip down the entire length of the Trail this summer, and we hope that every last member will join us on this unique journey! What’s that you say? Can’t shoehorn a cruise from Kittery to Machias into your summer schedule? No worries! The Rock Hop Photo Op is a “virtual” trip that will commemorate the Trail in photographs. To participate, just email your snapshots of people out and about on the islands to MITA will gather and post the photos on an interactive online album developed specially for the event. Our goal is to collectively hit every site on the Trail, creating an online community journey to mark the Maine Island Trail’s 25th anniversary. “We’re really excited to share photos of people having fun out on the islands and taking care of them,” said Stewardship Manager Maria Jenness. “This is about more than the usual shots of serene landscapes and pretty sunsets. We’re hoping to celebrate what the Trail means to us as a community—the human side of it.” continue on page 15

The Rising Tide team: Nathan Sanborn (left), Heather Sanborn, and Sean Spence pictured at their Portland Brewery.

Rising Tide Lifts Island Stewardship Sales of Maine Island Trail Ale Will Support MITA b y K e v i n lo m a n g i n o

What kind of beer pairs best with summer on the coast of Maine? Ask 10 different MITA members and you’re likely to get 10 different responses—many of them passionately argued. But the folks at Rising Tide Brewing in Portland want you to keep an open mind. Their latest batch of suds bears an impeccable name—the Maine Island Trail Ale—and is specially crafted to complement Maine coast summer living, according to Heather Sanborn, Rising Tide’s co-owner and Director of Operations. “It’s a crisp, hoppy beer with notes of pine and citrus,” Sanborn says. “It’s the kind of beer you’ll want to drink all summer long while exploring the Maine coast.”

In This Issue MITA’S NEXT 25 YEARS ..............................4 PARTNERS SALUTE MITA ...........................8 TRIMARANS ON THE TRAIL .................... 12 REPORT SEAL STRANDINGS .................... 14

And the benefits of this particular ale extend well beyond your taste buds. Through an exclusive licensing agreement with Rising Tide, MITA earns a royalty on all purchases of Maine Island Trail Ale. The deal makes every beer run an opportunity to support the stewardship of Maine’s islands, says MITA Executive Director Doug Welch. “We feel like this partnership with Rising Tide captures what MITA people are passionate about,” he says. “It’s local people cooperating to promote sustainable economic development and environmental stewardship.” continue on page 13


25 Years of Motivated Optimism b y D o u g W e l c h , e x e c u t i v e D i r e c to r

M I TA B OA R D O F T R U ST E E S Peter Adams, Yarmouth, ME Kelly Boden, Portland, ME Dan Carr, Dayton, ME Nicole Connelly, Falmouth, ME Kathy Eickenberg, Liberty, ME Mark Fasold, Yarmouth, ME Tom Franklin, Portland, ME Odette Galli, Falmouth, ME Lindsay Hancock, Gray, ME Kathryn Henry, Waitsfield, VT Rodger Herrigel, Phippsburg, ME Liz Incze, Cumberland Foreside, ME Cindy Knowles, Cumberland Center, ME Melissa Paly, Kittery, ME Joan Smith, Portland, ME Bill Weir, Bar Harbor, ME Jeremy Wintersteen, Portland, ME


Doug Welch • Executive Director

Nan Cumming • Campaign Director Greg Field • Director of Finance & Operations

Maria Jenness • Stewardship Manager

Peter Kenlan • Director of Annual Giving & Information Systems Damien Lally • Membership Manager

Kevin Lomangino • Newsletter Editor

Brian Marcaurelle • Program Director

Rikka Wommack • Membership Services Associate Pro-bono newsletter design services by Jillfrances Gray : JFG Graphic Design|Creative Direction

The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile long waterway extending from the New Hampshire border on the west to Cobscook Bay on the east. Along the route, state-owned and private islands are available to members or the public for overnight stopovers where one can picnic or camp in a wilderness setting. The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) is a nonprofit conservation organization, whose goal is to establish a model of thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship for the Maine islands that will assure their conservation in a natural state while providing an exceptional recreational asset that is maintained and cared for by the people who use it. This goal is achieved by encouraging a philosophy of low-impact use and environmental awareness among MITA’s members and island visitors.

M A I N E I S L A N D T R A I L A S S O C I AT I O N 58 Fore Street, 30-3 Portland, ME 04101 (207) 761-8225 •

Vol. 24 2


No. 1

The coast of Maine is a national treasure with its thousands of tiny wild islands. These form a beautiful constellation of sorts—a Milky Way of minute planets scattered off shore. How lucky we are to be able to view and visit them.

The 25th anniversary of the Maine Island Trail presents a dilemma that would have been inconceivable at MITA’s birth. As noted in the cover story, we’re planning a Rock Hop Photo Op to celebrate the Trail in a collective, fun, and practical way. We settled fairly quickly on photos via email as the basic platform, but also recognized a clear pitfall: The world these days is awash in technology. Magical as their capabilities are, our phones and computers sometimes feel like they are taking over. Lose perspective and you can find that your devices are using you rather than the other way around!

We can walk around their entire shores like Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince surveying his tiny planet home. We can study their tide pools and their intertidal zones’ wealth of living creatures like Rachel Carson. We can explore the intricate detail of their granite crystals, or observe their One would think—hope—that the last omnipresent birdlife. We can investigate refuge from their prying influence would their uplands, where lichen paints the be on Maine’s remote islands. They are granite and pine trees perhaps the wildest places cling to thin, sandy soils on the eastern seaboard, in defiance of the wind. Or Compared to abstract and no place for precision we can simply sit and watch electronics. The only their never-ending interplay and often invisible environment more hostile with the tides and currents. global problems, this is than a rocky island is the In any case, it is all there for tangible work: cleaning sea around it! Woe to the us to enjoy. would-be mariner who up trash, monitoring At the same time, a look relies on electronics as his use, and educating at dire environmental only source of information. visitors. news stories these Your phone may give you days can sometimes be an illusion of safety, but it paralyzing. So many of won’t save you from hypothermia even if the problems we face are global in scale, you do have “four bars.” and it can be hard for an individual who wants to help to know what to do. Where And yet these devices are difficult to on earth do we begin? resist, even out on the water. I suspect I am not the only one who feels For those who need a concrete answer, technology’s pull, and that I’m not the or a place to start, these fragile, hopeful only one who has partially succumbed. places represent an opportunity. And I bought a little electronics dry bag happily our efforts there restore not long before the iPhone came out. And only the islands, but our souls as well. I’ve even started using my iPhone as a The mission of the Maine Island Trail basic chart plotter, which is exceedingly Association is to facilitate this affirming helpful. It also provides my tide charts, exchange. Compared to abstract and weather forecast, weather radar, buoy often invisible global problems, this data, expense tracker (more information is tangible work: cleaning up trash, than I wanted!), ship-finder, and even a monitoring use, and educating visitors. handy knot-tying guide. No doubt there We thank you for your part in our will be a crop of new apps this season, mission during our first 25 years.  and I don’t even own an iPad.

But I also feel technology’s repulsion— particularly out on the Trail. I am acutely conscious of the aesthetic costs of technological conveniences. The last thing I want is to miss an eagle, or even a sprig of sea heather, because I’m looking at my phone. So please understand the Rock Hop for what it is: An invitation to celebrate the islands together, to capture the joys of visiting them, but not to degrade or minimize them. Shut off your ringer, text messages, and incoming email. Snap a couple of photos, and then put your devices away and enjoy your time in the wilderness.

Connect with MITA Online

Use the following online media to find out about MITA events and activities, volunteer opportunities, Trail updates, and other information related to your membership. • On the Web: Visit our website,

• Email: Subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter by visiting and clicking the button to sign up. • Facebook: Become a fan at • YouTube: Subscribe to the MITA Channel, maineislandtrail.

• Twitter: Hear our latest tweets at • Flickr: Share photos at groups/maineislandtrail/

• Linkedin: Connect at companies/maine-island-trailassociation

A Place to Warm Up on Arctic Explorer’s Island b y K e v i n lo m a n g i n o

Eagle Island in Casco Bay will be more welcoming than ever in 2013. Volunteers are putting the finishing touches on a brand new island visitor’s center—a place where arriving guests will be greeted and introduced to this unique historic property. The center will provide space for up to 30 people to view a short documentary film about Admiral Robert E. Peary, the famed Arctic explorer who owned the island and built a summer cottage there in 1904. It will also house a small gift shop and serve as a distribution point for audio tour devices. The changes are expected to enhance the experience for island visitors, says Steve Ingram, a volunteer with Friends of Peary’s Eagle Island (FOPEI), which coordinated construction of the project under the supervision of the Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands (DPPL). Ingram noted that the Peary documentary was previously shown in the dining room of the Peary Home Museum—the only room on the island with enough space to provide seating. With the opening of the new welcome center, however, the dining room can be returned to how it would have looked during Peary’s lifetime. There will also be much more space available for people to get out of the weather.

“Early in the season, most of the paths around the island are closed to protect the many species of birds that nest on the property,” Ingram said. “This gives people a place to be so that they don’t all crowd up inside the museum.” The center’s grand opening, expected some time this summer, represents the culmination of years of work by both FOPEI and the DPPL. FOPEI provided significant funding, materials, and labor needed for the project. The DPPL completed the funding and helped steward the project through a maze of permitting requirements. In addition, professional DPPL staff were on hand at key junctures to supervise the construction. “It was quite an effective partnership,” Ingram said. “They [DPPL] were very helpful in negotiating all the different layers of bureaucracy that we had to contend with – everything from local zoning laws to state and federal requirements.” Friends of Peary’s Eagle Island welcomes volunteers. There are opportunities to help with the final construction of the Welcome Center, to assist with trail maintenance, or to serve as a docent. If interested, please contact Steve Ingram at

• Instagram: See our photos at meislandtrail

FOPEI volunteers and DPPL staff during framing of the new welcome center. Photo: courtesy of FOPEI. M I TA .O R G 3

MITA’s Next 25 Years: What Does the Future Hold? Anniversaries inevitably lend themselves to reminiscing about the past. But the story of MITA’s early years has already been thoroughly documented in these pages and elsewhere*.

So as MITA turns 25, we decided that instead of waxing nostalgic, we would turn our eyes to the horizon and try to imagine what the next quarter century holds for the organization and the Trail.

To that end, we reached out to a diverse group of members and supporters and asked them how MITA can continue to evolve in a way that respects our core values. Here is what they told us: Prepare for Climate Change Erno Bonnebakker Former Trustee & Island Adopter

Having watched MITA grow from 30 sites to 200 in the past 25 years, I fear we will be moving from creation and growth to the challenge of adapting to fundamental changes in our natural world over the next 25 years. Specifically, the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. We have known these issues were coming, but now we must confront them. With sea level rise, islands will change—banks will erode, some islands will disappear, some will go from vegetated to bare ledge. These are changes which we can adapt to, but which we must prepare for. Climate change may result in significant population shifts, especially if energy costs make warming areas to the south less economically livable. How do we maintain the Trail if greater Portland has the population of greater Washington, DC in 25 years? Sure will be interesting times!

With sea level rise, islands will change—banks will erode, some islands will disappear, some will go from vegetated to bare ledge. *See the summer 2008 issue in the newsletter archive at for an in-depth account.



Island Cams & Social Networking

Get Serious About Plastic

John Herrigel

Lee Bumsted

Cleanup Volunteer

What if we had on-site island cams that members could access through the MITA website? That would allow you to quickly toggle through, say, 5 to 10 peaceful, serene and real-time island settings when you are stuck at work or can’t get out on the water. Another neat thing would be to create virtual island accounts where members can log in, upload photos and simply record/track the islands they have been to as well as share stories about them. In a blog format, others could easily go in and read different postings on different islands.

Promote Coastal Access Natalie Springuel Former Trustee

Many of Maine’s coastal communities are engaged in timely discussions about maintaining coastal access for residents and people who make a living on the water. Our coastal communities stand to learn a great deal from the MITA model! MITA has shown that access can promote, or at the very least, enhance conservation. The next step is to show how coastal access – and conservation – can enhance quality of life for coastal residents and the vitality of our coastal communities.

Island Adopter

For MITA’s next 25 years, I’d like to see us focus on removing plastics from the shores of Maine islands, not just during cleanups, but during every visit. Plastic bottles and bags, styrofoam cups, and chunks of pot buoys and floats are more than just unsightly flotsam and jetsam. They do real damage to the marine environment. Fish and seabirds ingest plastics instead of nutrients. Microplastic fragments concentrate waterborne toxins such as mercury and PCBs, and filter feeders may pass these toxins higher up the food web. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to go ashore and find all manner of washedup junk, especially on non-MITA islands. But if we all stuff our trash bags and bring plastic souvenirs back to mainland recycling and disposal sites, collectively we’ll make a difference. Let’s have members post photos of their treasures on our website or Facebook page. We’ll award prizes for the biggest, ugliest, and most unusual finds.

I’d like to see us focus on removing plastics from the shores of Maine islands, not just during cleanups, but during every visit.

Time for an Island E-Book

Encourage Member Interaction

Ken Fink

Ben Fuller

Founding Member

One thought I have had for several years—and there have been many fits and starts toward promoting it—is a “coffee table” publication that could be a reference for Maine’s islands. It would address all aspects of the islands, from the natural sciences, to human history and settlement, to public and private ownership, to the effects of recreational use and other impacts. Now, here’s the twist: Considering the advent of e-publications such as with iBooks Author, this could be undertaken without the usual book publishing constraints and costs. This would be truly a desktop publishing effort. It would be available on the many tablets, mobile devices, and desktop computers. It could be distributed by Apple, Amazon, or Google through their ample e-book capabilities with millions of consumers in their databases. (Probably more than necessary, but there are many Maine island fans outside of our borders!) It could also be readily updated as necessary. It might even be easier to start with the annual MITA Guide to see how the process works and is received by MITA members. The format for that is well established and could be readily adapted to iBooks Author for a trial run. For examples of how this looks, look at Al Gore’s Our Choice and E. O. Wilson’s Life on Earth. Both are available on Apple iTunes Books.

We hope that these ideas will inspire you to share your own thoughts about MITA’s future with us.

Monitor Skipper

One of the problems with MITA is that the members only get to know each other if they participate in activities together. And those activities are organized on an office/member basis, so there is no way of doing a mini-gathering, organizing a local trip, or doing some local volunteer project. Is there some way that MITA could create nodes, chapters, or some such that would allow members in a particular area to interact without direct intervention from the office? Something to think about. And as far as the Trail is concerned, there is still the gap issue. There are places with plenty of spots to pull out, but there are some with very few, including the Muscle Ridge stretch. In the Pen Bay area, there are some places where it would be great to have a presence: especially in the necklace of islands running north from North Haven, and perhaps down around the south end of Vinalhaven.

Don’t Mess with Success! Sid Quarrier

Project Volunteer

As I think about the next 25 years for MITA, I tend to value most the idea of retaining the basic attributes and opportunities that were there from the start. I think about access for the public, the experience of the beauty and peace of the coast, the opportunities for personal exploration and adventure, and enjoying the fellowship of others who care about the coast. For MITA it seems that not only do these core attributes endure, but they may also be increasingly important in our changing world. So I think that these are the some of the important guiding ideas that MITA should emphasize for the future. I think that preserving these characteristics is of greater importance than any large plans for expansion.

Managing Island Forests Chris Tadema-Wielandt Monitor Skipper

I have been concerned about the deteriorating condition of the vegetation on many of the islands which I visit. Conditions resulting, to a large degree, from the continuing decline of the spruce/fir stands on many islands. I’m not advocating for manicured landscaping on any Trail island. My primary concern is safety, not only for island users, but for the islands themselves, which are at risk from runaway fires when there is so much downed wood available to fuel them. I think we should do a better job of clearing away dangerous trees, cutting up downed trees, and putting them in contact with the soil so they decompose more quickly. Granted, many people want a “wilderness experience” when they visit MITA islands, but I believe that experience can be available for more people, for a longer period of time, with a little bit of planning and effort.

Keep It Local Merv Taylor

Former Trustee & Monitor Skipper

Over the next 25 years, there will be a temptation for MITA to grow the organization and expand the Trail, perhaps into Canada or even the Gulf of Mexico! As the Trail gets bigger, the challenge for MITA will be to remain true to its mission and values, maintain its commitment to volunteers, and maintain efficiencies at a larger size. Wherever the future takes us, MITA should stay focused on the basics and resist the urge to get too big.



25 Years from Now:

A View from the Program Director In addition to crowdsourcing perspectives on MITA’s future plans from members and supporters (see the story on page 4), The Island Trail also asked Program Director Brian Marcaurelle to weigh in with an insider’s view. Here are some thoughts he shared on MITA’s

Small Boaters’ Conference Set for Labor Day Weekend

major opportunities and challenges in the years ahead.

Forest Management and Invasive Species Control

Many Trail islands are made up of evenaged spruce stands growing in thin soils and harsh conditions. A number of these stands are reaching maturity, and as a result, individual trees and entire swaths are beginning to topple. At the same time, invasive plants such as Asiatic Bittersweet are arriving on the islands. Forest management and invasive species control will play greater roles in MITA’s stewardship activities in the years ahead.

Mobile/Interactive Guide

Site Ownership

Nonprofits now own more Trail sites than any other type of owner, recently edging out the State for the top spot. With so many strong land trusts engaged in active conservation on the coast, and with growing awareness of the importance of recreation in the conservation community, the future makeup of the Trail is likely to skew even more toward nonprofit ownership.

Regionally Based-Stewardship

Our plan for long term, sustainable stewardship of the Trail includes a strong focus on engaging volunteers at the local level. Volunteers have been the engine of stewardship for MITA since the very beginning, with many traveling great distances to help monitor an island or participate in a cleanup. During the next 25 years we will focus on cultivating regional networks of volunteers to help ensure lasting stewardship on the islands. 6


The demand for a Maine Island Trail App for smartphones and tablets is growing while the limitations and costs of the paper Guide continue to increase. With wireless devices becoming ubiquitous and functionality improving, MITA will need to find new ways to engage members and share information about the Trail. The online Guide was a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go. The next 25 years will see MITA pushing even further into the digital realm.

Trash Barge

MITA will transport volunteer crews to the islands and marine debris back to shore with its 30’ aluminum landing craft complete with pilot house and mechanical loading ramp. A person can dream, right?

MITA has planned a rich calendar of events to celebrate our 25th anniversary in 2013 (see the listings on the next page). The capstone and grand finale will come at the end of the summer, with our Small Boaters’ Conference and 25th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, August 31st in Portland! We’re putting together a full day of family-friendly fun, starting with an American Canoe Associationsponsored demo event, and ending with a not-to-be-missed party at our home base, Portland Yacht Services. There will be midday on-the-water activities, late afternoon presentations by knowledgeable and well-known speakers, and an evening soiree with hearty but casual local seafood fare, recognitions, a slide show presentation of our Rock Hop Photo Op contest, and more. Mark your calendars now, and check back with us often, as we’re adding new elements to this special event all the time. We can’t wait to celebrate our 25 years of stewardship with you, our valued members and supporters! For more information, visit

25th Anniversary Calendar of Events Hope to see you!

MITA will gladly consider donations of anything from boats and vehicles to office equipment. Please call us at 207-761-8225 or e-mail if you would like to donate these or other items.

JunE 29-30 WoodenBoat Show 29 Casco Bay Challenge: Surfski Race

Mystic, CT S. Portland/Mere Point, ME


20-21 Saltwater Celtic Music Festival

Brunswick, ME

AuGuST 9-11 10 14-18 17 26 31

Wish List


• Clippers and loppers

• Foldable pruning saws • Leaf rake

• Flathead rake • Spade shovel

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors 20th Annual Southport Rowgatta Small Reach Regatta Belfast Haborfest Rock Hop Photo Op Closes Small Boaters’ Conference & 25th Anniversary Celebration

Rockland, ME Boothbay Harbor, ME Hog Island, ME Belfast, ME Maine Island Trail, ME Portland, ME


• Throwable buoyant cushions


• Volunteer for light office tasks • Small/handheld vacuum

• Dorm-size cube refrigerator

Much Accomplished, Kenlan Moves On With great appreciation for his service during more than six years at MITA, we bid a fond farewell to our Director of Annual Giving and Information Systems, Peter Kenlan. Peter departs in August for the University of Maine School of Law. Upon arrival in 2007, Peter immediately impressed his peers at MITA with his extraordinary range of skills and rock-solid philosophical affinity to the “optimistic” aspect of our mission: our trust in the better part of human nature to care for the islands in exchange for access to them. Through a number of promotions, Peter has done nearly every job at MITA and quietly revolutionized virtually everything we do, leaving us much stronger in the process. This includes two complete

re-builds of our web page, the wholesale migration of our database to a new cloud-based platform, digitizing the MITA Guide, launching the Trailblazer society, myriad analyses and process improvements, trail work, skipper coordination, chainsaw training, LNT training, selling boats, cleanup captaining, and so on. And in the ultimate show of island enthusiasm, he proposed to his wife on a Trail island…in November! We owe Peter a great debt as he enters this exciting next chapter of his life. And we are assured by Peter that this is not “good-bye,” as he hopes to volunteer for MITA whenever law school and legal practice allow it.






25 Years of Stewardship One of the more remarkable aspects of MITA’s 25-year journey has been its transformation from outsider upstart to respected advocate for coastal stewardship. A lot of the credit for that evolution goes to our many partner organizations, who have engaged with and supported our efforts to promote sustainable recreation on the islands. We were honored and humbled to receive so many congratulatory notes from these partners on our anniversary. They are a testament most of all to YOUR hard work and commitment!

In its 25 years, MITA has done a tremendous job of educating a new generation about island access opportunities and every visitor’s responsibility to help care for these special places.

MITA has helped thousands explore these special places through low-impact recreation. We applaud MITA’s efforts and look forward to working together along this remarkable coast towards the long-term vision of a balanced and sustainable future for the islands and communities in the Gulf of Maine. Rob Snyder, Island Institute

Tim Glidden, Maine Coast Heritage Trust Our sailing members know how important the Maine islands are to the finest cruising grounds in the world, and we tip our hats to an organization that has done so much to preserve, protect, and advance them. Peter Stoops, Cruising Club of America We are always pleased that MITA staff and members help us monitor use on our islands and we also appreciate that they are always offering to help us do island clean-ups. Beth Goettel, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Over 25 years, MITA has navigated its way through many disparate coastal interests to become a highly respected voice across local coastal communities. Your leadership role creating stewards from visitors turned the tide for Maine’s incredible islands. No organization I know of has done a better, more thorough job. Charlie Jacobi, Acadia National Park

Congratulations on 25 years of dedicated service for access to Maine island trails. The Division of Parks and Public Lands is proud to have been a founding partner in the Maine Island Trail Association. In 1988 the Division was the largest single landowner on the Trail, providing the Trail’s original 30 islands. MITA has created a rich coastal experience and positive economic impact for all that now has grown to include 200 properties. The service MITA provides in managing these fragile places for visitation is an important one that we hope will continue long into the future. L.L.Bean is proud to have been a partner in the Maine Island Trail since its inception. Over 25 years, MITA volunteers have cared for Maine’s islands and helped keep them open for thoughtful visitation. L.L.Bean salutes MITA as a model of sustainable recreation that reflects the values of Maine.

Will Harris, Division of Parks & Public Lands

Mark Fasold, L.L. Bean and MITA Trustee We are proud to have been the first land trust to partner with the Maine Island Trail Association. Their considerable and recognized expertise in island visitor management and coast-wide perspective greatly enhance the stewardship of our islands. We look forward to a long and growing partnership. Steve Spencer, Damariscotta River Association

2012: The Financial Year in Review In 2012…

Statement of Financial Position* ASSETS

FY 12

FY 13

Current Assets



Other Assets (incl Restricted Investments)



Total Assets



Capital Assets (Property & Equipment)



Current Liabilities



Net Assets



Total Liabilities & net Assets






records and transactions. Gross revenues for the year totaled $565,621, an increase

of almost $45,000 from 2011, with growth

in several categories including unrestricted contributions from appeals, grants, events,

SUPPORT & REVENUE Membership Dues & Unrestricted Contributions Grants, Sponsorships & Contracts


Total unrestricted Revenue & Other Support

FY 12

FY 13




$107,469 $19,036 $14,933









EXPENSES Program Services

Fund Development & Member Recruitment


Total Expenses

services declined, primarily reflecting staff

transitions—with an expansion of trail and

stewardship capacity coming mid-year that allowed for improved island stewardship and long-term trail management. There

financial year 2013, while administrative


net Assets released from restrictions

increase from 2011. Spending on program

in fundraising costs projected to last into


Investment Income & Other

• Total expenses were $587,645, a 12.5%

was a significant but temporary increase

Revenue & Expenses by Area





*CPA audited financials are available upon request.

Generous giving from members contributed to a more than 8% increase in revenue last year, allowing for expansion of stewardship capacity. Thank you for your support! M I TA .O R G

the second full independent audit of its

and net assets released from restrictions.



• MITA finished its financial year 2012 with

costs held close to steady with a 1% decline. • The end results were a modest operating

loss of under 4%, and a significant increase in investments restricted to program

activities that led to growth in MITA’s net assets of $99,067 for 2012.

Tips Exchanged at Lobstermen/Kayaker “Beer Summit” b y l e e b u m st e D

Some lobstermen are happy to sell lobsters directly from their boats to paddlers making requests from their kayaks. Just don’t haggle over the boat price! This bit of maritime etiquette was one of many things a group of kayakers learned when we invited two lobstermen to dinner at the Dry Dock in Portland one windy night in February. Members of the Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network met with Tom Martin, who fishes out of Portland, and John Dennen, who works out of Harpswell. The kayakers were interested to hear that generally speaking, lobstermen don’t dislike us. They do wish we showed better sense sometimes. Dickering over lobster prices is one example of poor kayaking protocol that Tom and John singled out. When you approach a lobsterman about a direct sale, they explained, you are interrupting his work day and essentially asking him to do you a favor. He might be happy to oblige, as long as you don’t try to talk down the price.

often busy in the back of their boats, and are less likely to notice kayakers.

He said he’ll tell the paddler to “head west and you’ll hit America.”

Tom said that brightly colored kayaks and paddles are far preferable to those in more subtle hues. It’s also good to consider the position of the sun. We’re hard to see when the sun is behind us, and when we are paddling in low-light conditions.

Staying Visible to Lobsterboats

Crossing in the Fog

Lobstermen are very worried about hitting us in the fog. John and Tom were surprised when we told them we might deliberately set out on a foggy day or paddle at night. They advised us to place sécurité calls on Channel 16 before making a crossing, as they tend to monitor that channel. They doubted they could hear our fog horns over the sound of their engines. The evening proved a great opportunity to swap stories and gain a better perspective on each group’s boating practices. We had some laughs too. John noted he is waiting for the day a kayaker paddles up to him to ask for directions.

• Bright colors: Consider bright reds and fluorescent oranges when buying new equipment. • Reflective tape: Affixing strips to your gear and hull can increase your visibility to other boats during the daytime and at night. • Follow the shore: Stick to shallow water with less boat traffic and cross busy channels only when necessary. • Stick together: When crossing a channel in a group, cross in a single unit or pod; don’t spread out. • Steer to stern: Pass behind lobsterboats and other powerboats if possible; be especially careful to avoid crossing close to the bow from the blind side (the side with no winch). • Sécurité: At night or in fog, make a sécurité call on VHF channel 16 before crossing known transit routes.

Paddling near Lobsterboats

Tom and John have also observed kayakers getting in the way when lobstermen are setting lines of traps, or when they have their engines idling momentarily. They recommend we pass behind their boats when we are near them. It’s particularly important not to cross close to their bow from their blind side. If we do need to approach a stopped lobster boat, it’s best to do so from the stern and head for the side equipped with the winch used for pulling traps. The lobstermen are more likely to be looking to that side. We talked about how visible—or invisible—kayaks are to folks working in lobster boats. Kayaks don’t show up on their radars. When lobstermen are heading back into the harbor, they are

It’s best to approach lobsterboats from the stern, on the side equipped with the winch. Photo credit: Dave Boyle. M I TA .O R G


Island Exploration: A Three-Pronged Approach by r i KKa Wommac K

With a cockpit in the center hull and two outrigger hulls, known as amas, positioned on either side for balance, trimarans are sleek, lightweight boats that are designed to generate speed out on the water. Thanks to their aerodynamic construction, some trimaran models are said to sail at up to four times the speed of the wind. The current defenders of the America’s Cup won the race with a trimaran. Despite their elite racing pedigree, these boats are also popular with a more leisurely class of sailor. MITA member and trimaran enthusiast John MacKinnon is one of them. John has sailed the Maine coast ever since settling here in 1989. “My dad lived for sailing, so I was recruited at an early age,” he says. John now sails his own boat, a Windrider 17 trimaran named the Hornet. He primarily sticks to local flatwater lakes, but has completed a couple of multi-day trips along the Maine coast, with more planned in the future.

camping gear and several days’ worth of supplies comfortably inside the center hull. Trimarans have far more carrying capacity than catamarans of equivalent size, and boast a more stable design. John’s second extended trip was a four day solo jaunt around Vinalhaven. “It was perfect,” he recalls fondly. “I just literally flew around Vinalhaven.” The island has lots of nooks and crannies and easy beaching spots, so it was the perfect pick for leisurely days spent

exploring. John says he’s also toyed with the idea of sailing from Casco Bay to Mount Desert, but acknowledges that he’ll have to choose the right weather to make the trip in such a small craft. Until then, he plans to take shorter day trips in Casco Bay with friends and family. Do trimarans have any downsides? “You get wet,” John acknowledges. But for most us, getting our feet wet and salt in our hair is the whole point of setting out on the Maine Island Trail!

“I’m surprised I don’t see more of them out there,” MacKinnon says of this unconventional boat. He thinks a lot of people assume that trimarans are highly specialized boats and not suitable for day trips or novice sailors. In fact, small trimarans are one of the lightest and easiest boats to handle. John’s model weighs only 400 pounds and is small enough that it is steered by foot, leaving your hands free to control the lines, jib, and mainsail. The amas telescope in, reducing the width of the boat for road transport, and the Hornet’s lightweight frame makes it easy to load and unload. Plus, with only an 18-inch draft, the Hornet is well-suited for maneuvering in Maine’s rocky bays and easy to haul up on the beach. John has done two longer trips on his trimaran around the Maine Island Trail. He and a friend spent four days sailing around Casco Bay, stopping at Little Birch and Jewell islands. They were able to fit two people, all of the attendant 12


John MacKinnon and the Hornet on Little Birch island.

two 30-barrel fermenters, a bottling line, and a kegging machine.

continued from page 1

Choosing a Partner

The idea for a Trail-themed beer has been kicking around MITA for years, Welch says, and the 25th anniversary celebration seemed like a “now-ornever” moment to get the ball rolling. After initiating talks with a number of brewers, MITA quickly concluded that Rising Tide would be the best fit for a partnership. Not only was it clear that the company was very dedicated to quality, but they also showed the enthusiasm and business savvy needed to make the Maine Island Trail Ale a success. “It’s impressive how they’ve grown from almost nothing to a very significant production and bottling operation in just a few years,” Welch says. While the company is still small enough to feel like a close partner in the development of the beer, it’s also big enough, thanks to recent investments, to satisfy the strong demand expected, Welch adds. Indeed, Rising Tide has been on a steep upward trajectory since its founding in 2010. Starting from garage-based roots where they brewed in 40-gallon batches, the company has been continuously growing sales and expanding its production capacity. They recently moved into a 5500-square-foot facility complete with a 15-barrel brewhouse,

Secrets to Their Success

Sanborn credits much of Rising Tide’s rapid growth to the skills of Head Brewer (and husband) Nathan Sanborn, who is also a co-owner of the company. She describes his brewing talents as “the equivalent of a musician who can play the notes that he’s hearing in his head— only with beer.” Both Sanborns grew up around boats and have spent many a summer day cruising Casco Bay in their 1968 Pearson Triton, Dasein. That experience is part of what’s captured in every bottle of Maine Island Trail Ale, Sanborn says. Commitment to sustainability and locally sourced ingredients are also key components of Rising Tide’s success. Whenever possible, they use locally grown barley and rye that is malted in Massachusetts. Their boxes are manufactured in Biddeford. They work with Resurgam Zero Food Waste, a Portland-based composting group, and Down Home Farm in Cape Elizabeth to help keep their production leftovers out of the waste stream. Their approach resonates with customers interested in supporting locally owned businesses that maintain high standards for quality and environmental protection, Sanborn says.

Best Bets for Finding Rising Tide Beers

MITA members and many other Maine coast boaters will certainly identify with that description. It goes without saying, however, that alcoholic beverages can impair your judgment and coordination out on the water. Anyone operating a boat of any kind should respect Maine’s strict boating under the influence laws. MITA recommends that you enjoy this fine ale after you’ve reached the safety of dry land or have dropped anchor for the night!

Where Can You Get It?

Maine Island Trail Ale and other Rising Tide brews are available at a variety of grocery and beverage stores throughout the state of Maine (see the listings in the box). Look for specialty beer displays with the larger 22-ounce bottles. If you can’t find them where you shop, please request that the store order some! Maine Island Trail Ale and other Rising Tide beers will also be on draft at a wide variety of bars and restaurants in Maine throughout the summer. Updates about local availability are occasionally posted on the Rising Tide Facebook page. Finally, you can pick up Maine Island Trail Ale at Rising Tide’s tasting room on Fox Street in Portland. Business hours are limited and change seasonally; please check for updates.

Portland Area Retail

Elsewhere in Maine Retail

Available on Tap


Whole Foods

Tully’s (Wells)

Black Birch (Kittery)

Craft Beer Comes to Portland Festival

Trader Joe’s

Bow Street Market (Freeport)

Robert’s Maine Grill (Kittery)

(Maine State Pier, July 13)


Rising Tide Co-Op (Damariscotta)

Cliff House (Cape Neddick)

Bier Cellar

Liquor Locker (Southwest Harbor)

Novare Res (Portland)

Saltwater Celtic Music Festival

Global Beverage (Ellsworth)

Bull Feeney’s (Portland) Infiniti (Portland) Sonny’s (Portland) Local 188 (Portland) Flatbread (Portland)

(Brunswick, July 20-21) KahBang/Bangor Brewfest (August 9-10) MITA 25th Anniversary Celebration (August 31-Sept 2)

Andy’s Old Port Pub (Portland)

Keep an eye out for this label!

Little Tap House (Portland) Great Lost Bear (Portland) Linda Bean’s (Freeport) Henry & Marty (Brunswick) 3 Crow (Rockland) Nocturnem (Bangor) M I TA .O R G


Partner Needs Help Caring for Maine’s Marine Mammals If you see a stranded or deceased marine mammal during your travels on the Trail this spring and summer, please report the sighting immediately to the folks at Marine Mammals of Maine (MMoME) before taking any further action. Their dedicated stranding hotline, 1-800-5329551, is open 24 hours a day, and the experts on call can help to assess the situation and determine the appropriate next steps.

MMoME relies on a network of trained volunteers to respond to the 300 or so calls that they are expected to receive each year. The vast majority of calls involve harbor seals and, less frequently, harp, hooded, and gray seals. Only about 10% of their response calls involve dolphins, porpoises, and whales. About a third of the animals they are called to investigate are collected for rehabilitation, Doughty says.

“When they see a stranded seal or dolphin, most people’s first reaction is to try to push the animal back in the water,” says MMoME Executive Director Lynda Doughty. “Their intentions are good, but they will most likely end up doing further harm to the animal.”

Another focus of MMoME’s work is performing necropsy studies on dead marine mammals. Volunteer candidates into the ocean can be This monitoring helps to identify threats, such as harmful to the animal. need to be at least 18 years of age, live within new pollution sources and 15 miles of the coast, infectious diseases, before and have transportation in order to they have a chance to cause widespread respond. Candidates must also have the damage. It’s also a sort of early warning capability to be “on call” and provide system for the protection of human weekly availability. A minimum yearpublic health, according to Doughty. long commitment is preferred, as the “Seals will eat a lot of the same things required training is extensive and is that humans eat, so if there’s a problem done largely on the job. Access to a with that food supply, it’s something we motorboat is a plus. want to know about, ” she commented. If you’re interested in learning more, She added that “fresh dead” animals you can call the MMoME office, (207) yield the most information in these 233-3199, or visit studies, underscoring the need to call

Doughty says that tired seals – especially pups – often beach themselves to conserve strength and warm up before returning to the water. Returning an exhausted seal back into the ocean can be harmful to the animal. Dolphins and whales, on the other hand, usually beach themselves for a more serious reason, Doughty says. An immediate expert evaluation is required to maximize the animal’s chances of survival. “A lot of people are surprised to learn this, but all marine mammals are federally protected, and it’s actually illegal to touch, feed, or harass them. Please give them their distance and stay 150 feet away from them,” Doughty requested.

their hotline as quickly as possible after spotting a marine mammal corpse.

How You Can Help

In addition to following guidelines for boating near marine mammals (see page 15), MITA members can help the cause by donating to MMoME or volunteering for their stranding response team. The organization has a deep pool of volunteers in the greater Portland area, but needs help along the far southern coast (York area) and in the midcoast Returning an area around Rockland. exhausted seal back

Organization Born from Cutbacks

Doughty has served as MMoME’s Executive Director and only paid staff member since the fall of 2011. She was formerly the stranding coordinator for the Maine Department of Marine Resources, but lost her job in 2011 due to budget cuts. The cuts also eliminated the State’s capacity to respond to marine mammal strandings, a void that Doughty and others are now trying to fill through MMoME – a private, nonprofit organization. 14


Tired pups often beach themselves to conserve strength and warm up. Give them a wide berth. Photo credit: MMoME.

Boating Near Seals • Stay Away: Seals that are

continually approached do not get a chance to rest. You are too close

when your presence causes increased vocalization or movement back into the water.

• Don’t Touch: Seals that appear

“stranded”—especially pups—are often just resting. Returning an

exhausted seal to the water can lead to separation of mother/pup pairs or have other fatal consequences.

• Leash Your Pet: Inquisitive dogs

can startle a resting seal, causing an aggressive, defensive response.

• Call the Hotline: Dial 1-800-532-9551 immediately if you see a potentially stranded or dead marine mammal.

MITA in the Land of the Rising Sun

Together with teammates from his Maine men’s hockey league team, MITA Program Director Brian Marcaurelle traveled to Japan this April to play a series of exhibition hockey games against former Japanese Olympians, where the above picture was taken. The trip was to raise money for young victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated parts of the country. To learn more about the ongoing relief efforts, visit www.

continued from page 1

Rock Hop Origins

MITA has a long history of conducting extended Trail journeys to collect observations about island use. These trips were usually minimalist affairs conducted by a lone volunteer (often Sid Quarrier) or a small group of MITA staff. The Rock Hop grew out of a desire to get more people involved in this journey as part of the 25th celebration. “We thought that if we recreated the trip online, more people could participate and we could end up engaging everyone along the coast,” Jenness said. In addition to displaying the photos, MITA will also be awarding prizes for top photos in different categories. To maximize creativity and suspense, we’re not going to specify what these categories are ahead of time. But if you’re looking for inspiration, here are a few ideas for suitable Rock Hop subjects: • • • • • • • • • •

Most creative mode of transportation Most delicious picnic photo Best siesta photo Worst bed head! Best hammock location Best campfire alternative Best act of leave no trace The coldest swim! Children enjoying the islands Biggest/weirdest piece of trash (and take it home!)

How to Participate

Rock Hop entries should be submitted via email to Please turn on your camera’s geo-tagging feature, if it has that capability, and tell us in the email which island you took the photo on. After we upload your photo, it will be pinned on the online album to whatever location you took the photo. The album can be viewed at The Photo Op will run from June 1, 2013 (National Trails Day) through Monday, August 26. We will present awards to the contest winners on Saturday, August 31, at the Small Boaters’ Conference & 25th Anniversary Celebration in Portland. (Mark your calendars, and we’ll update you with specifics over the summer.) If you have any questions about the event, email In the mean time, Happy Hopping!

Please note: We are sensitive to concerns that the Rock Hop may encourage the use of electronic devices in places that are a sanctuary from such distractions. See Doug Welch’s column on page 2 for guidelines on “hopping” in a way that doesn’t degrade the island experience.

The Rock Hop will commemorate the Trail in photographs showcasing people out on the islands. Photo credit: Daniel E. Smith Scenic New England Photography. M I TA .O R G


A Big Wave to Our Generous Sponsors! Presenting Sponsor

Cadillac Mountain Sports WoodenBoat


Lincoln Canoe & Kayak

Ronnie Sellers Productions

Verrill Dana

Sabre/Back Cove Yachts




Summer 2013  

Rock Hop Photo Op gets underway and we feature a main article about the Rising Tide Brewing Co. partnership that made way for the much-loved...

Summer 2013  

Rock Hop Photo Op gets underway and we feature a main article about the Rising Tide Brewing Co. partnership that made way for the much-loved...