The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) develops and delivers collaborative solutions to global ocean challenges.
This independent, objective nonprofit organization is dedicated to the resilience of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and the communities that depend on it. GMRI collaborates with stakeholders to support healthy ocean ecosystems, a thriving blue economy, sustainable seafood, and climate-resilient coastal communities.
The organization’s evidence-based, transparent, and nonpartisan perspective allows them to convene diverse and often competing stakeholders to solve complex problems. Their unique, interdisciplinary approach combines five key capacities:
• Science: Research that deepens our scientific understanding of the Gulf of Maine ecosystem and economy
• Education: Hands-on science learning experiences for students and educators as an investment in the next generation of ecosystem stewards
• Community: Support for the communities that depend on the Gulf of Maine, including fishermen, aquaculturists, and seafood supply chain businesses
• Climate Center: Local, state, national, and global climate actions to help coastal communities thrive in a warmer world
• Gulf of Maine Ventures: Creating, scaling, and investing in high-impact companies that advance GMRI’s nonprofit mission
In recent years, they have also deepened their role as a primary owner of waterfront property in Portland, taking on the responsibility to protect and preserve working waterfront access and demonstrating a model of low-carbon, climate-resilient solutions for this key infrastructure.
Scientists at GMRI were the first to publish research revealing rapid warming in the Gulf of Maine. As of 2021 — the hottest year on record for the Gulf of Maine — this body of water has warmed faster than ~98% of the world’s ocean. As they help coastal communities in their own region mitigate and adapt to the impacts of rapid warming, GMRI leverages the Gulf of Maine as a testbed to develop solutions that are relevant around the world.
GMRI has grown rapidly over the past two decades, emerging as one of the region’s most respected institutions due to its program impact and the exceptional caliber and commitment of its board, management team, and staff. The organization has a proven track record of recruiting and empowering their thoughtful, entrepreneurial, and persistent staff. This commitment to excellence is reflected in their long history of impact and achievement, with some recent examples including:
• Hiring and supporting leading experts on climate and fisheries, who have served at the highest levels including roles and relationships with NOAA, NASA, two presidential administrations, and multiple international fisheries management groups;
• Working with fishermen and aquaculture farmers to implement new management strategies, diversify and grow their businesses, and preserve access to important working waterfront infrastructure;
• Leading the nation’s climate science efforts at the highest levels, with four scientists contributing to the current National Climate Assessment (NCA5) and the leader of the previous National Climate Assessment (NCA4) serving as the Climate Center Director;
• Providing science-based sustainability guidance to businesses throughout the regional seafood supply chain — from dealers and national grocery chains down to restaurants and harvesters; and
• Immersing 12,500+ of Maine’s middle school students and their teachers in authentic hands-on science experiences every year — made possible in part by over $15 million invested by NASA in GMRI’s statewide education efforts.