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The Maine coast suffered from winter storms on Tuesday night and Saturday this past week, leaving the community in shambles. Fishing families are facing many tremendous losses after these storms. From the destruction of wharves and gear getting washed away from the aggressively high tides to the emotional devastation of financial losses. The working waterfront needs support and assistance.

After the first storm, the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) began working with the Maine Emergency Agency to assess damages to the working waterfront. As well as local communities helping their neighbors with cleanup and collecting gear.

However, the DMR pushed reminders days before the second storm of the exceptionally high tides so that those who are working waterfront property owners can prepare for the storm surge that will affect them again. 

The Tuesday night storm had a record high tide of 13.98’, the second-highest recorded water level in Maine history. Though Saturday’s storm broke the previous high tide of 14.17’ recorded at the Maine State Pier gauge in Portland, now at 14.57’.

Many groups, such as the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (MCFA), shared damages over the past days since the storms. Writing on social media Wednesday, “Coastal communities, already grappling with the aftermath of storms, urgently require resources to rebuild damaged infrastructure, support local businesses, and help fishermen get back on their feet. Increased funding is not just an investment in the physical structures but a lifeline for these communities, ensuring their resilience and sustainability in the face of unpredictable weather events.”

MCFA has been compiling resources to support coastal communities. You can donate to MCFA here.

The aftermath from Tuesday night into Wednesday's storm. Photo credits to Maine Coast Fishermen's Association

Greenhead Lobster, a family-owned wholesale lobster company in Stonington, Maine, shared the damage that their facility underwent through the storms. “Wednesday’s storm was destructive. Fingers crossed that Saturday isn’t as devasting. Thank you to everyone who helped get things cleaned up.”

Greenhead Lobster is a family-owned lobster dealer in Stonington, ME. Photo courtesy of Greenhead Lobster.

In Corea, Maine, Dan Rodgers shared the damage done to his gear; even with the dock still standing, it looks like it will be a total loss.

A dock in Corea, ME left in shambles by storm. Photo credits to Catch Your Dinner Lobster Tours and Dan Rodgers.

“Thankfully, no one got hurt, and the boat is still on the mooring where I left it. Others in our small community weren’t as lucky.” Rodgers noted.

A lobster boat washed to shore by Wednesday's storm in Corea, ME. Photo credits to Catch Your Dinner Lobster Tours and Dan Rodgers.

The Island Institute held a Storm Recovery and Resources webinar, joined by the Maine Department of Marine Resources, Maine State Department of Economic and Community Development, and Maine Emergency Management Agency. You can find a webinar recap on the Island Institute website and a list of questions and comments during the session.

Mainers who have reported damages due to wind and rainstorms are encouraged to report damages by calling 211 Maine or filling out one of the surveys- Individuals & Household Initial Damage Assessment or Business and Agriculture Initial Damage Assessment.

DMR would like those to know that by reporting damage, you are not applying for assistance. It will just make the information available for your town to learn who has storm-related damage.

Visit Governor Mill’s online Maine Flood and Assistance Hub for more resources and information.

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Carli is a Content Specialist for National Fisherman. She comes from a fourth-generation fishing family off the coast of Maine. Her background consists of growing her own business within the marine community. She resides on one of the islands off the coast of Maine while also supporting the lobster community she grew up in.

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