Casco Bay Bioregional Learning Journey

August 8th – August 12th 2022

Join us for an exploration of local food systems that connects the White Mountains to Casco Bay and the deep waters of the Gulf of Maine. This is a “Bioregional Learning Journey” and we will explore remarkable innovations (such as wastewater treatment), breakthroughs (in both agriculture and aquaculture) as well as barriers and roadblocks as we navigate the path ahead.

This event serves as the LAUNCH of a community-based Seagrass Monitoring Initiative called Team Zostera, a diverse portfolio of stewardship actions in support of a more resilient bioregion.

The Learning Journey

Come prepared to taste, see, learn, and immerse yourself within the diverse ecosystems of the Casco Bay bioregion.


This event will be a FEAST to launch the Learning Journey and Team Zostera with cultural, spiritual, economic, and environmental stakeholders from across Casco Bay.  More Info

Journey – 3 Days of Learning

Three days of complete immersion into the Casco Bay Bioregion. There will be numerous opportunities for observation, learning, and reflection.  More Info

Finale – Co-Create A Bioregional Feast!

Welcome the Learning Journey team and join them and the best chefs to co-create a truly unforgettable experience. More Info

The Learning Journey

Learning journeys are a form of “re-inhabiting” the places where we live, work, and play. They focus on understanding the unique set of natural characteristics as well as the many dimensions of how we develop with a major emphasis on how we can serve as better stewards of our land and waters. This 2022 Casco Bay Bioregional Learning Journey will consider the intersection of food systems, wastewater treatment, and the current health and future trajectory of seagrass meadows in Casco Bay.

Eating in the Anthropocene: Land-Based Food Systems

On Tuesday we will go directly into the beating heart of terrestrial based food systems in Casco Bay, with visits to local produce markets, community-led social initiatives, and centers of agricultural innovation.

Where Land Meets Sea: A Vibrant and Healthy Working Waterfront

Something special is happening in Portland. We will explore its vibrant waterfront, including innovations in wastewater treatment, vibrant seagrass meadows, and consider how they are all connected to the foodie hub.

Ocean-based Food Systems: Potential & Purpose

Thursday’s journey will offer us the chance to dive deep into ocean-based food systems of Casco Bay, exploring innovations in seafood processing, aquaculture and food technology. A perfect day for a sunset ferry!


On Monday August 8, join us to launch the Bioregional Learning Journey and Team Zostera. On Friday August 12, join us to welcome back the brave explorers from the Learning Journey and share lessons learned. BOTH days will offer unforgettable local gastronomic feasts. On Monday, Barton Seaver will feature a Taste of the Bioregion that will be a multi-course experience where we will taste our way down the Casco Bay Bioregion. On Friday, YOU will work with local Chefs and prepare a local bioregional feast.

This will be a journey to remember!

MONDAY: Taste of the Bioregion

On Monday, join us to help launch BOTH the Learning Journey and Team Zostera. To celebrate, acclaimed Chef Barton Seaver will offer us a Taste of the Casco Bay Bioregion. The modest menu will literally follow a “transect” from the top of Mount Washington down through the heart of the terrestrial bioregion, past Sebago Lake (source of our drinking water), past Portland and the site of our wastewater treatment and then submerge into Casco Bay and past the “Calendar Islands” and the myriad of lush seagrass meadows – into the depths of the Gulf of Maine and past the biodiversity hotspot of Cashes Ledge and then out of the “firehose” of the Northeast Channel and down the Continental Shelf to the deep ocean of the Western Atlantic Ocean. Join a diverse group of people from across the Gulf of Maine as we taste into this bioregion!

Elements of a feast

FRIDAY: Co-Creating a Bioregional Feast

Following three days of immersion into the bioregion, join us as we welcome back the explorers and learn about the “green shoots” of transformative change. You will be working along side them as you will be invited to work along side some of the finest local chefs to co-create a mid-day feast using ingredients from across the bioregion. This event will be held in the “Learning Labs” of Southern Maine Community College, one of the finest culinary arts centers on the East Coast. This event will include a review of local, state, and regional commitments to increase support for local food systems and celebrate the progress being made to increase use of local food such as those by Sodexo US, a major food service provider to regional schools and universities with a commitment to local food systems.

Who’s Coming?

A diversity of perspectives, professions, ages, ethnicity, disciplines, sectors.

Chief Hugh Akagi headshot

Chief Hugh Akagi

Chief Hugh Akagi is the Chief of the Peskotomuhkati Nation, located in what is now St. Andrews, New Brunswick and has been the center of the Ancestral territory of the Passamaquoddy People. Listen to Chief Akagi describe the responsibility we have as citizens.

Ella Hubbard headshot

Ella Hubbard

Ella is a PhD student at the University of Sheffield. Her research uses participatory methods to explore how bioregioning is being used to reshape regional development. Her research interests include bioregioning, alternative economies and social movements.

Barton Seaver

Barton is one of the world’s leading sustainable seafood experts and educators. Before leaving the restaurant industry to pursue his interests in sustainable food systems, he was an award-winning chef leading top seafood restaurants in Washington, DC.

Victoria Bowler

Victoria is a recent graduate from the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. Throughout her undergraduate career, she focused on Public Health and Wellness, specifically, holistic and accessible healthcare. Victoria is also a certified Emergency Medical Technician(EMT) in Maine and Massachusetts and she is using this healthcare experience to prepare her for a career as physician assistant(PA).

Karie Crisp Vazquez

Karie spent a decade working on corporate sustainability initiatives in food, product supply chains, and women’s economic empowerment. In 2018, she began a learning journey to understand bioregionalism and began a PhD program at California Institute of Integral Studies to research the subject.

Lauren Hayden

Lauren is a master’s student in the School of Marine and Environmental Programs at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. Lauren grew up on Peaks Island, Maine and has maintained a close connection to the sea. Her graduate research centers around mapping local eelgrass beds with a combination of remote sensing techniques including side scan sonar and aerial drones. 

Mik Schulte

Mik has worked in the water sector internationally for over a decade, including in South Africa, Chile, Australia, Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Ethiopia, the United States, and South Pacific island states. Mik strongly believes in water as a unifying force, and that economic and ecosystem prosperity can and should be mutually reinforcing. Mik is a second-year law student at Maine Law and a 2022 COBALT Fellow.

Sigrid Knag

Sigrid is studying Data Science with a specialization in Geoinformatics at the Norwegian University of Life Science. She is passionate about bioregional mapping, and is now using her studies to learn how one can monitor the health of the earth with  geographical data. Since June 2022 she has been working at SustainaMetrix.

Peter Handy 

Peter is president & CEO of Bristol Seafood, a processor and distributor known for its uncompromising Maine standards. In addition to his role at Bristol, he serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, Maine Public Radio and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, and the investment committee of the Portland Museum of Art.

Tyanne Benallie

Tyanne Benallie is a member of the Navajo (Diné) Nation – who has dedicated her career to working with resilient populations. With expertise in Indigenous projects and policy, Ty has worked in Native American communities at the federal and tribal level – across the environmental, social, education, and health sectors.

Dwayne Tomah

Dwayne Tomah is a Language Keeper, he is a teacher of the Passamaquoddy language and culture. He is the youngest fluent speaker of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has served on the Tribal Council. His life has been dedicated to working on the language and culture preservation, he has edited the Passamaquoddy dictionary and worked to help create the Apple ~ Passamaquoddy Language App

Kaitlyn Schwalje

Kaitlyn is a science journalist and documentary director based in Portland, Maine. Before pivoting to storytelling, Kaitlyn designed haptic prototypes for the research division of the Walt Disney Company. Her stories about her disaster obsessed father, tsunamis, how archeology saved the cat, and city squirrels appear in CBC, Atlas Obscura, WNYC, 99% Invisible, National Geographic, and others. Director Credits include Snowy (Sundance ‘21, Critics Choice nominee, DOCNYC Shortlist).

Alex Wolf Lewis

Alex is a  documentary director and DP based in Portland, Maine. As a director, credits include the short documentary, Snowy (Sundance 2021, Critic’s Choice Nominee, DOCNYC Shortlist). As a DP, he has traveled the world shooting for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Vice, Netflix, HBO, CNN, PBS, A&E, Discovery as well as a number of feature documentaries and shorts.

Sam Matey

Sam holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, from the University of Southern Maine. A Master of Geospatial Applied Information Systems and Technologies graduation from UCLA’s MAGIST program is expected June 2022. Since January 2020, he has been working at SustainaMetrix.

Tim Griffin

Tim is Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.  At the Friedman School, he is Division Chair – Agriculture,
Food and the Environment, and teaches classes on U.S. agriculture, agricultural science and policy, and the linkage between food system domains.

Amanda Gagne

Amanda is a recent graduate of The University of New England. Her public health degree, and research conducted with SustainaMetrix, highlights the interconnected relationships of human health and environmental health. Her passion advocates for equitable policies and healthcare practices to create systems that sustain the ever-changing demands of today’s world and combat the inequitable realities it has created.

Caroline Paras

As a first generation American, Caroline has spent three decades helping people build their sense of place, first as an educator who helped teachers create service-learning opportunities for K-12 students; second, as a planner who engaged residents in economic and community development; and third, as a researcher helping natural-resource based industries create agritourism experiences to share their stories with residents and visitors.

Erik Wilson

Erik is a recent graduate of Tufts University department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning where he graduated with a master’s degree in food systems planning. Here his research focused on public-private to support food recovery and gleaning to reduce food waste and food insecurity. He has recently begun working as the gleaning coordinator for Androscoggin Gleaners based out of Lewiston, ME.

Registration is Limited

If you would like to join us on Monday for the Taste of the Bioregion, or put on your apron and join the Chefs on Friday registration for this event is limited to 70. Those who book both receive a discount and guaranteed participation in BOTH events. Space on the expeditionary team is limited to 30 so please book soon to be part of the learning Journey for the whole immersive week!

Taste of the Casco Bay Bioregion
Monday, Aug. 8

Co-creating a Bioregional Feast with Barton Seaver Friday, Aug. 12
for both events

Work alongside local chefs to co-create a bioregional feast while learning about the importance of local food systems.

LIMITED Tickets Remaining!

Both Special Events

3 Day Learning Journey

Monday – Friday, Aug. 8-12
for the week

Complete Learning Journey experience.
Includes access to Taste (Monday) and the Bioregional Feast (Friday), plus the three day Casco Bay Learning Journey.

Join us in August

The power of a learning journey is to learn how to see through the eyes of another and that is best accomplished through diversity – so join us and bring your perspective but be prepared to learn how to see through the eyes of others!

Our Sponsors

We are pleased to introduce the following wonderful sponsors who are making this Learning Journey happen!

Our Partners

Thank you to our incredible partners for the support in the development of the Learning Journey and launch of Team Zostera.

Blue Marble Evaluation


The following testimonials are from participants of the Gulf of Maine 2018 Learning Journey that served as the pilot for the launch of this event in 2022.

“The Gulf of Maine Learning Journey does offer an extraordinary opportunity for people to understand the dynamics of place, but, perhaps more importantly, it is an opportunity for all participants to contribute in real and meaningful ways to the betterment of this planet.  It is nothing short of that.  Our worlds, individually and collectively, are enriched because of having shared in some facet of this journey”.

Alan Furth Testimonial

Alan Furth

Former Director Cobscook Institute, Whiting Maine

“Transformation always starts small and from within… in the Gulf of Maine, people and organizations are collaboratively exploring the creative frontiers of an emerging future – an inspirational learning experience not to be missed. The Learning Journey is a fantastic way to see the specifics of how people and companies are trying to change the world.

Steven Lovink Headshot

Steven Lovink

Founder of the Planet2025 Network, France

“For anyone who feels change is needed in a big way, this learning journey will help you explore how that can be realized with stimulating conversations grounded in people’s practical, day-to-day work and helpful frameworks for connecting it to the big picture.”

Steve Waddell Headshot

Steve Waddell

Author, Change for the Audacious Global Lead: Bounce Beyond
Boston, MA

“The entire itinerary was so diverse. Ideal for the curious and mindful explorer, the Learning Journey in the Gulf of Maine shares and engages – how individual and communal efforts can have transformative impact. This is an experience of a lifetime, if you want to make a difference!”

Martha Holder Headshot

Martha Holder

Former staff, World Bank
Tall Timbers Maryland

Join us in August

A good Learning Journey explores remarkable innovations and breakthroughs as well as barriers and roadblocks. Turbulent times can open up space for innovation and novelty. We will learn how to see together the gridlocks as well as breakthroughs to better connect and accelerate positive change.