Here in Maine's largest city, the waterfront's been having a tough go of it. For nearly two decades now, the fishing industry has been reeling for lack of sufficient fish in the sea, the container port is hostage to the fate of a single paper mill, and fuel prices have just scuttled the high speed ferry service.
But one entity, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, has been thriving. They've just absorbed the distressed Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System and scored the funding needed to secure (by repairing) the pier behind their building from the U.S. Coast Guard. How do they do it? With federal-level political savvy, lots of public money, and an eye for synergetic opportunity.
As you can read in my column in the new Working Waterfront, that's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does show just what it takes to get the really big thunderclouds to rain these days.
[Update 2/27/10: Bad link fixed.]