Maine Climate Corps

Decorative graphic that reads report to the legislature now available and includes a photo of a report coverLatest on Maine Climate Corps: report to Legislature published

Page updated 1/21/22 2:40 p.m.

Background

In June of 2021, L.D. 722: Resolve, To Study the Establishment of the Maine Climate Corps was enacted. The bill directed Volunteer Maine/the Maine Commission for Community Service, to study establishment of a Maine Climate Corps and submit a report to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources by January 31, 2022. The study needed to identify short-term projects and tasks in state agencies that could be service projects for residents of the State; consider the structure for a Maine Climate Corps in order to best address shifting and expanding climate challenges; and to examine existing service programs to identify potential hosts and partnerships for the Maine Climate Corps.

The Commission began work on the report in late June 2021. Nearly 100 structured interviews of government agencies, nonprofits, elected officials, and climate corps programs in other states were conducted. A survey of organizations inquired about size of program and financial issues. Finally, the draft report was published for public comment with the option to respond in writing or in person at an open meeting on December 13, 2021. The Commission's Research and Evaluation Task Force oversaw the project.

The report was submitted to the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources on January 18, 2022. The Committee requested a briefing which occurred on January 31. At that time, they sent draft language that would implement some of the recommendations to be printed as a committee bill. The public hearing for the bill is expected to happen in mid-February. 

Review the report

Use the link below to view an interactive flipbook.

Access flipbook

Use the link below to view and download a PDF copy of the report.

Access PDF

Maine Climate Corps: What is it? Please click the drop down to read more.

people by a stream taking water samplesMaine Climate Corps is envisioned as a set of programs that engage citizens as volunteer Corps members to carry out projects focused on one of these focus areas:

  • Coastal Zone
  • Transportation
  • Energy
  • Housing
  • Land and Fresh Water Preservation
  • Community Resilience
  • Education (K-12 and community)
  • Public Health

Built on the major goals and strategies of “Maine Won’t Wait,” the state’s climate action plan, the Maine Climate Corps will mobilize citizens through formal volunteering and intense service that will add significant human resources and move climate action strategies forward.

View Maine Won't Wait

Why use service as the strategy? Because it yields a triple benefit:

  • volunteer human resources to address local issues;
  • experience and support for the participants who serve; and,
  • increased community resilience as a result of th epersonal and institutional relationships that develop through service projects.  

What we're doing

Nationally. The Commission is a member of multi-state and public-nonprofit groups working on Climate Corps implementation. 

In Maine. With the completion of the study and recommendations about Climate Corps, the Commission is moving forward on launching Climate Corps.

  • Three current AmeriCorps programs could qualify to be part of Maine Climate Corps with some adjustments. Grant and training staff are working with those programs.
  • Developing planning grant opportunities for coalitions of organizations interested in tackling one of the priority project areas identified in the study:
    - Community Resilience Planning
    - Energy Education and Outreach
    - "Lead by Example" which is the State strategy for making buildings more energy efficient. In a service corps, members would work on municipal, county, regional government, and nonprofit owned buildings.
    - Home Energy Conservation and Management
    - Emergency Management Community Assistance
    - Local Foods Programs
    -  Healthy Soils and Regenerative Agriculture Outreach and Education
    - Green Schools
    - Community Solar Project support
    - Invasive Species Monitoring and Management
    - Shoreline Monitoring and Management
  • Reaching out to community representatives and organizations to start discussions on how Climate Corps might support their climate action goals.

View Maine AmeriCorps programs