On May 17, 2023, Report for America awarded Pulitzer Center grantee Kate Cough third place for enterprise reporting for “The Unstoppable Ocean: 10 Stories From the Edge of Maine.” Cough’s project with grantee Alex MacLean was supported by the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines reporting initiative. Just three days later on May 20, 2023, Cough and MacLean received recognition from the National Headliner Awards for environmental writing by a newsroom not in the top 20 media market.
Cough, an investigative reporter, and MacLean, an aerial photographer, presented their work via an online landing page. MacLean’s visuals complement Cough’s intimate profiles. The Unstoppable Ocean investigates what it is like to live in between climate catastrophe as a looming threat and an ongoing process. Maine communities are finding their own ways of adapting to the changing coastline: costly infrastructure upgrades, new traditions, and a more reciprocal relationship with the environment.
On November 16, 2022, the Maine Monitor partnered with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Buck Lab for Climate and Environment at Colby College to host a panel discussion about The Unstoppable Ocean. Cough and MacLean were joined by researchers and a Camden, Maine, town council member. The event extended the project’s print and digital reach into solutions-oriented civic conversation.
Report for America is an initiative of the GroundTruth service program. GroundTruth places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities. Report for America’s third annual Local News Awards showcased “compelling and impactful local reporting across the country through a variety of mediums.”
The National Headliner Awards is “one of the oldest and largest annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry.” The first awards were presented in 1935.