About Us

Our Challenge

We Have Come Together to Address a Very Important Challenge

Downeast coastal communities of northeast of Maine are struggling.  They have relied upon hard work and high-quality natural resources since before our country was founded.  However, the Downeast natural resource economic base is not what it used to be.

Of its top three natural resource drivers, prices for its lumber and blueberries have fallen and many of the region’s

most important commercial and recreational fisheries have been in decline for decades. While the lobster fishery is still doing very well, accounting for 80% of the fisheries landings, the Downeast fisheries economy is both depressed and precariously balanced.

There is opportunity

With global demand for seafood high and projected to increase, and with cool, clean, waters fed by its winter snowpack and the cold coastal Labrador current, Downeast has the capacity to support a diverse set of highly productive, and highly valued fisheries.

What Drives Us

Our Mission

On a mission to strengthen Downeast Maine communities by restoring a strong and resilient ecosystem and our regional fisheries economy.

What are we doing to address the challenge?

Our Tools

Restoring sea-run, intertidal, and coastal ocean fisheries

DFP and its partner efforts to restore fisheries populations are currently focused on the sea-running Alewife and the soft-shell clam. 

Preparing the next generation’s fisheries stewards

As the world is growing and changing with ever increasing speed, the next generation of Downeast seafood harvesters, aquaculture practitioners, consumers, and decision makers need to be well prepared. 

Supporting adaptive ecosystem based fisheries co-management

To help ensure that the region’s fisheries support a strong, sustainable, and resilient Downeast fisheries economy forever, the DFP is working hard to support adaptive fisheries management, ecosystem-based management, and effective co-management. 

Capturing increased community benefits from fisheries and aquaculture

The DFP is working hard to ensure that profits and jobs are maximized, and that low-barrier to entry fisheries exist.   


Meet Our Director

Bob Wood

Robert (Bob) Wood comes to Downeast Maine from the Mid-Atlantic with over two decades of experience working as a coastal ecosystem scientist, a director of a federal-state-academic partnership laboratory, and as a coastal ecosystem restoration program director for a regional family foundation.  

Starting his career as a research scientist with NOAA, Bob soon realized that coastal ecosystem restoration solutions required addressing the intertwined scientific-social-economic dimensions of problems at hand.  Accordingly, his roles and interests shifted over time to focus on helping form, work within, and guide community and regional problem-solving partnerships among scientists, policy makers, nonprofit organizations, corporate leaders, farmers, fishermen.  

Bob’s scientific credentials include a Master’s degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia, a PhD in marine science from the College of William and Mary, a post doctoral position with Dr. Ed Houde at the U. of Maryland, and more than a dozen scientific papers focused on coastal fisheries, coastal water quality, and climate change. 

Contact DFP

Brittany Foster
DFP Coordinator 

Larry Clifford
DFP Project Development Specialist