"Economic, environmental, and social sustainability in Maine's island communities"
Maine's year-round islands communities are disappearing. Their disappearance, to varying degrees, may be attributed to physically and socially imposed challenges such as natural resource volatility, environmental concerns, and seasonal gentrification, and strain from an urbanizing population, neoliberalized economy, and virtually-connected society. I will explore how the remaining communities are adopting or resisting technological, economic, and social innovations to maintain social and economic sustainability. My primary field site, Vinalhaven, has recently constructed three 1.5 megawatt onshore wind turbines. My secondary field site, Monhegan, is currently debating the construction of two massive offshore turbines within close proximity to the island. Through ethnographic methods, I will explore how official, virtual, and personal dialogues surrounding the turbines relate to the respective community's strategy for sustainability.