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Working Waterfront
Inventory Report & Template

Our research into how municipalities are incorporating working waterfronts into town planning revealed the need for a standardized data collection process

Coastal gentrification in Maine has intensified in the last few years due to COVID, an influx of out-of-state home buyers, and lifestyle changes that are drawing families to Maine's quintessential coastal communities. This has increased pressure on the working waterfront at a faster pace than many towns can keep up with, adapt to, and plan for.

In order to preserve the working waterfront and the culture and industries it supports, especially commercial fishing, towns need to know what they have for working waterfront infrastructure in their community.

MCFA worked with Tidal Bay Consulting to analyze the existing landscape of how municipalities have incorporated working waterfront into their comprehensive plans and coastal ordinances. We then developed a process and standard data collection template for communities to inventory their working waterfront.

By completing this inventory, towns can collect data on working waterfront infrastructure and the local economic impact of fisheries and aquaculture using an accessible, step-by-step approach. The report helps communities understand their current working waterfronts, and provides the tools to monitor, preserve, and invest in working waterfront for future generations.


The report includes information about why a municipality should complete an inventory, a checklist of how to prepare before starting the inventory, and instructions on how to fill out the inventory tables.

If you're interested in getting started, the tables, data, and resources you need to inventory your community's working waterfront are below.



“Without historical working waterfront infrastructure or the potential for new infrastructure, what is a very difficult job, physically and financially, becomes increasingly difficult, if not impossible.”

Hugh Bowen, Freeport Commercial Fisherman


“The working waterfront inventory template will help Maine’s coastal communities take stock of their working waterfronts and plan for the future. The template gives communities the flexibility to focus on their needs while also enabling similar data collection efforts across Maine’s coast.”
Melissa Britsch, Senior Planner,
Maine Coastal Program

Get Started


Download blank inventory tables and the most recent fishing and self-employment data available for Maine towns and counties to get started.

These supplemental materials provide information on a handful of the data points and measurements in the inventory tables. These all include public data that can be downloaded from the Department of Marine Resources (Maine) or NOAA websites according to the instructions contained in the working waterfront inventory tables.


More information is available if you download/request data directly from DMR or NOAA, as the authors omitted certain personal information outside the scope of the inventory.


Data in these files are for 2022 or the most recent year data is available. New data files will be added as they are available in future years.

We are looking for your feedback!
Contact us with questions or ideas to help us make this tool more useful.
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