Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment

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Framework For Action

Every five years, the Gulf of Maine Council renews its commitment to working in partnership toward a healthy Gulf of Maine ecosystem. With this Framework for Action, the Gulf of Maine Council sets forth its shared vision for sustaining a healthy Gulf of Maine for future generations.

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Importance of Stewardship

The beauty and natural resources of the Gulf of Maine watershed have fostered a culture of stewardship to ensure that these resources are sustained for future generations.

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“To stand at the edge of the sea, to sense the ebb and flow of the tides, to feel the breath of a mist moving over a great salt marsh, to watch the flight of shore birds that have swept up and down the surf lines of the continents for untold thousands of years... is to have knowledge of things that are as nearly eternal as any earthly life can be.”
— Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

“For the fishing industry, the Gulf of Maine is our home. That’s where most of our fishing is done and where we earn our living. we believe it needs to be protected from all the things that can threaten it. we need to work together to stay ever-vigilant.”
— Angela Sanfilippo, President, Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association

Welcome to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, created in 1989 by the governments of Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia, works to foster environmental health and community well-being throughout the Gulf watershed.

Video: Learn more about the natural and cultural resource treasures of the Gulf of Maine through photographs and narrative from the voice (perspective) of a Councilor.

Volunteer and funding support from many partners makes the Council’s work possible.

Our Mission

The mission of the Gulf of Maine Council is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations.

Gulf of Maine Council 2018 – 2022 Framework for Action (PDF, 2mb)

Our Work

25 Years of Commitment to the Health and Sustainability of the Gulf of Maine Region

An amazing array of marine life and birds—at least 3,300 species—depend on the Gulf. Coastal marshes and estuaries serve as nurseries for young fish, crabs, shrimp, and shellfish. Abundant microbes and plankton form the base of a food web that extends up to seals and whales.

During my first chef job at the Shoals Marine Laboratory on appledore Island, I fell in love with the Gulf of Maine—not just the breathtaking seascape but the whole biological system. Cutting open a 30-pound cod, I found it full of baby lobsters, stacked up all facing the same direction. You could see the community interactions in the Gulf: those became an object of fascination that I still feel. How do we connect the dots and keep that community thriving?
Sam Hayward, Executive Chef and Co-owner,
Fore Street Restaurant, Portland, Maine