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Pulitzer Center Update December 12, 2022

The Unstoppable Ocean: A Discussion on Climate Impacts in the Gulf of Maine

The jetties at the approach to Wells harbor.

This project explores the impacts of sea level rise on everything from sandy beaches to working...

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Multiple Authors

Video courtesy of The Maine Monitor.


On November 16, 2022, The Maine Monitor partnered with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and the Buck Lab for Climate and Environment at Colby College to host a panel discussion building on the in-depth reporting by grantee Kate Cough in her project The Unstoppable Ocean, which was supported by the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines reporting initiative.   

Along Maine’s stunning coastline, vulnerable communities wrestle with the inevitable rise of the sea caused by the warming ocean, according to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Communities are already being forced to make costly upgrades to vulnerable infrastructure and, in some cases, rethink ways and patterns of life they have had for generations. 

The Maine Monitor explored these issues in a recent feature piece, "The Unstoppable Ocean: 10 Stories from the Edge of Maine." Journalists visited 10 communities along the coast to observe the impact of the rising sea, and how the state and local communities are tackling it. Illustrated by fantastic aerial photographs by Alex MacLean, the stories and the event explored not just the problem of sea rise for coastal Maine communities, but how people across Maine are working on solutions.

In addition to appearing on the Maine Monitor site and in Down East magazine, Maine Monitor also had 500 copies of the package printed in a tabloid special section. They distributed those at the event and have placed them at libraries around the midcoast of Maine. They plan to send more to readers in the coming weeks.

Marine geologist Peter Slovinsky from the Maine Geological Survey, postdoctoral researcher Hannah Baranes from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Camden town council member Alison McKellar, photographer Alex MacLean, and Kate Cough shared information about sea rise and fielded questions from audience members. Gail Carlson, director of the Buck Lab at Colby College, moderated the discussion.


A woman walks along a dock with a boat nearby


Connected Coastlines

Connected Coastlines


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change