Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
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.
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.
“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
The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment was established in 1989 by the governments of Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia to provide an international forum for promoting a sustainable Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Through this unique Canadian-American collaboration of government and non-government entities, partners work together to maintain the rich cultural heritage, economic resources, and unique natural habitats that make up the Gulf of Maine.
The Gulf of Maine Council’s mission is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations. Every five years, the Council renews it’s commitment to working in partnership toward a healthy Gulf of Maine ecosystem. With its latest 2023-2028 GOMC Framework for Action, the Council sets forth its shared vision for sustaining a healthy Gulf of Maine for future generations.
The Gulf of Maine Council is uniquely positioned to focus on environmental issues that require or benefit from regional collaboration between Canada and the United States. The Council serves as a forum to share and exchange information and tools, innovative strategies, and lessons learned across jurisdictions and between the United States and Canada. The Council leverages regional skills and expertise, thus making more rapid progress in improving stewardship of the Gulf’s resources. By convening international forums, initiatives, and learning opportunities, the Council promotes understanding and shared solutions to the region’s most pressing environmental issues.
The Gulf of Maine Council’s role as a leader for transboundary collaboration is even more important today as communities strive to adapt to warming waters, altered ocean chemistry, sea level rise, unpredictable coastal storms, and other challenges associated with climate change. Population growth and increasing demand for resource use, development of renewable energy sources such as offshore wind, and emerging issues present new management challenges and opportunities for jurisdictions to work together to ensure sustainable outcomes for the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.