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Your support will help us promote the diversity and scope of educational and research opportunities in this region.

Healthy, sustainable fisheries are the lifeblood of the coastal Maine economy.  DEI staff and researchers have been working since 1987 with clammers, lobster fishermen, scallopers, and others to enhance native stocks through public aquaculture.  We conduct applied research to better understand the important biological, ecological, and physical mechanisms that result in healthy fisheries. We help K-12 students and their teachers to use science in a way that is relevant and relatable, and to understand the importance of ecological balance and responsible stewardship of the marine resources many of their families depend on financially.

We appreciate donations to help support our work.  Please mail a check to DEI, PO Box 83, Beals, ME 04611, or donate on line here.

Seeding cultured clams under protective netting in Wiscasset, Maine

We want to share our excitement and expertise with those who have similar passions about learning and doing new things, and creating opportunity for the people of coastal Maine.  Our marine research infrastructure at our Black Duck Cove campus, which includes a 6,400 square foot shellfish hatchery, two tidal impoundments (approximately 2 acres each) and a 100' fiber composite pier,  allows fishers, scientists, and students of all ages to work together on projects of mutual interest.  Our state-of-the-art education center hosts  local youth, college students, in-service teachers, and others interested in learning about the marine environment.  Our physical location and array of cold-water marine habitats are unique in the state of Maine.

In 2017, DEI began its final phase of an expansion in the works since 2009.  The new facility will include office spaces, a clean laboratory for microscope work, sample-processing, organism identification and other uses, a quarantine lab for holding invasive and other exotic species, a running seawater laboratory for holding live organisms, conducting laboratory experiments, or culturing marine plants and animals, a wet lab specifically for entrepreneurs to experiement with growing commercial species, and facilities for conducting climate change experiments.  A reception area with a touch tank containing local species and a small conference room for up to 35 people will complete the project in 2018.

We invite marine scientists and their students to Black Duck Cove and Great Wass Island to explore, study, and conduct research in these habitats and on our local organisms.

Please help us sustain fishing communities, and improve the quality of life for people of downeast and coastal Maine. 


The phased infrastructure construction at the Downeast Institute. Top
schematic shows current shellfish production facility and marine
education center. Middle schematic shows the marine laboratory
and office space without reception center and conference room.
Bottom schematic shows the complete project.  Architectural
drawings provided by Sealander Architects (Ellsworth, Maine)



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