The Island Institute announced at its May 31 board meeting that it has divested its individual holdings of fossil fuel producers. The Institute's endowment of roughly $18 million supports programs at the Rockland-based nonprofit.

Island Institute President Rob Snyder said, "Our organization is committed to supporting island and remote coastal communities and ensuring that they remain sustainable and vibrant places to live and work. And in every area of our work, from fisheries to community energy to economic development, climate change poses a threat to the long-term survival of these communities. We decided that we had to put our money where our mouth is. It's wrong for us to invest in companies that make money producing fossil fuels, because they're contributing to the very problem that's putting the future of Maine island communities at risk."

"Island communities face major problems because of climate change," said Donna Damon, an Island Institute board member and an eighth-generation resident of Chebeague Island, "sea level rise, changes in the shellfish industry, increased storm activity, just to name a few."

Island Institute Finance Committee Chair George Cole said, "We are proud to join a growing list of foundations, universities and organizations who have taken this step."