January 16, 2018
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The Maine Island Trail: A Model for Citizen Stewardship

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Maine Island Trail Association program director Brian Marcaurelle describes his work on America’s oldest, and arguably most beautiful, recreational water trail at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum.

If you thought that Maine’s trail network limited outdoorsy folk to scrabbling up mountains or delving deep into the woods, think again. The Maine Island Trail is America’s oldest, and arguably most beautiful, recreational water trail. Stretching over 375 miles, its breathtaking route has been the subject of accolade and awe.

Brian Marcaurelle, Program Director of Maine Island Trail Association, will talk about what he calls, “one of the finest paths ever to be sailed, paddled, or otherwise boated along the entire coast of Maine” at College of the Atlantic’s Human Ecology Forum on April 4. The talk is free and open to the public.

Intended as a resource for those in Maine who love the outdoors and want to experience it in a unique way, Marcaurelle says that the elaborate Maine Island Trail presents a wilderness eperience like no other.

The water trail consists of roughly 200 private and publicly owned islands and beaches. It is managed by Marcaurelle and a group of dedicated staff and volunteers, who work with property owners and recreational users to promote good land stewardship and enjoyment of the waterways. Their tireless efforts to create a safe, environmentally friendly and deeply rewarding experience have resulted in a successful conservation effort, Marcaurelle says.

“The Maine Island trail was built on simple handshakes and is maintained by conscientious users,” says Marcaurelle.

Marcaurelle holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a BA in biology and environmental studies from Bowdoin College. He has been working with the Maine Island Trail Association for the past twelve years and assumed responsibilities as Program Director in 2009. He looks forward to taking every opportunity to get out on the water and follow the trail.

The Human Ecology Forum is a free, weekly speaker series based on the work of the academic community, which also draws on artists, poets, and political and religious leaders from around the world. Members of the public are invited to attend.

College of the Atlantic is the first college in the U.S. to focus on the relationship between humans and the environment. In 2016, both The Princeton Review and the Sierra Club named College of the Atlantic the #1 Green College in the United States. The intentionally small school of 350 students and 35 faculty members offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in human ecology – the study of how humans interact with our natural, social and technological environments. Each student develops their own course of study in human ecology, collaborating and innovating across multiple disciplines.