Natural Capital: Deer Isle, ME

With miles of coastline, beautiful views, and surrounding islands, there is no shortage of natural capital in Deer Isle, Maine. Deer Isle is a small town located on an island in the Penobscot Bay, connected to the mainland by bridge. Approximately 32% of employed Deer Isle citizens work in fields related to natural resources (American Fact Finder). Because of the island’s location, Deer Isle’s biggest asset is arguably its access to natural capital.

Deer Isle’s abundance of lobster is the town’s biggest asset. The Penobscot Bay is an ideal breeding ground for lobster, and the lobster population rarely declines despite how heavily the lobster is fished. In fact, Deer Isle has built most of its economy around the lobster population. One local business that has found great success is Greenhead Lobster. Greenhead is a lobster distributing company that sells Deer Isle lobster all over the world. Greenhead buys lobsters from the local independent lobstermen, which makes up about 20% of Deer Isle’s population (American Fact Finder). The lobstering industry also attracts tourists to Deer Isle. Every summer, tourists from all over the Northeastern US visit to enjoy the fresh seafood, and have the opportunity to spend time on the water with local lobstermen to find out how lobster is fished. Clearly, lobster serves as a major natural asset.

Deer Isle also has access to vast amounts of granite. Historically, Deer Isle’s granite has been used for numerous projects in the US. Both the Boston Public Library and the Brooklyn bridge in New York City used Deer Isle granite. Today, granite is quarried for smaller projects in Maine. The older quarries are now tourist attractions, and granite museum located is a major town attraction.

 

References

Occupation by Sex for the Civilian Employed Population (2016). In American Fact Finder. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ACS_15_5YR_S2401&prodType=table

Welcome to Deer Isle and Stonington (n.d.). In Deer Isle – Stonington Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved from http://www.deerisle.com/