Downeast Institute’s Marine Research Laboratory, Hatchery and Education Center is located on the easternmost coast of Maine. We host scientists, educators, entrepreneurs and others at our campus on an island archipelago with vast intertidal areas and deep ocean water. We proudly serve as the Marine Science Field Station for the University of Maine at Machias.

DEI’s mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of downeast and coastal Maine through marine research, marine science education, and innovations in wild and cultured fisheries.

Soft-shell clam research at Downeast Institute

Groundbreaking Discoveries

At the Downeast Institute (DEI), research on marine invertebrates is enriched by direct access to cold and deep ocean water, unique oceanographic features and vast intertidal areas for field work. Our marine research hatchery staff specialize in creating and advancing production techniques to support field and laboratory research. Our facility is designed to offer flexible space for experimentation and includes flow-through seawater. DEI’s discoveries over the past 30 years have advanced shellfish hatchery technology, increased knowledge of the marine environment, and continue to provide credible scientific information to policymakers, harvesters, and communities.


Marine Education

DEI ignites students’ enthusiasm for science by conducting hands-on lessons about the marine environment in our Education Center and in the field.  We provide exceptional experiential education for K-12 students, professional development for teachers,  and research opportunities for college students and faculty through our role as the University of Maine at Machias Marine Science Field Station.

experiential education at Downeast Institute, marine science field station
Applied Marine Research at Downeast Institute

Fisheries Innovation

DEI’s historic focus applied marine research has helped us generate knowledge and technology needed to help fisheries adapt to a changing marine environment and create new aquaculture opportunities for fishermen and other entrepreneurs to strengthen our marine economy. Applied and basic research, as well as invertebrate aquaculture R&D, can be conducted at our facility.

  • I’ve had the great good fortune to spend time at the DEI and have treasured every visit. Whether your interests are scientific research, aquaculture, art and photography, or social science, the DownEast Institute offers a unique and welcoming facility at which to pursue your passions or to expose small classes or groups to the wonders of a pristeen marine habitat and local fishing community.  With the rocky intertidal and Gulf of Maine outside your door, acres of coastal habitat, well equipped field laboratories, comfortable dormitory-style accommodation, fully accessible internet, and helpful staff, the DEI offers an exceptional opportunity to spend some time concentrating on your chosen activities without distraction.  Your first visit will likely not be your last!

    Dr. Sandra Shumway University of Connecticut

UMaine Machias LogoDEI Proudly Serves As The Marine Science Field Station For The University Of Maine At Machias

U.S.A.’s Easternmost Marine Research Laboratory and Education Center


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