Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning and Development (CPD)


Community Planning and Development

First Advisor

Yuseung Kim


Monhegan Island, Maine, Community Planning, population growth, sustainable agriculture, housing, Muskie School of Public Service


Monhegan, like many island communities, is threatened by the loss of population as its young adults migrate to the mainland. The purpose of this study is to develop a resilient population on Monhegan Island.

Knowing the problem is easy, as is asking the obvious question, “How do we get people to move to this area?” This is a problem that confronts not only Monhegan, but also other Maine islands and even Maine itself.

Several factors make Monhegan’s future uncertain. The first is the gradual shift from commercial fishing, the mainstay of its economy, as it becomes more reliant on tourism services. In addition, seasonal vacation homes inflate the cost of housing on the island. The island—in conjunction with partners such as the Island Institute—is currently exploring options to lower the costs of housing and energy, but island living is expensive.

Therefore, to increase Monhegan’s attractiveness as a place to live—not just to visit—the community needs to ask itself, How does Monhegan create and environment that attracts new residents? What can be done to arrest the problem of affordable housing? Can local agriculture be used to mitigate the expense of islandness? Within the scope of this study, the last question is limited to impact of local agriculture on food prices and whether that will assist in the attraction of new residents.



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