How You Can Help
Coastal Choices can foster more effective coastal land conservation if citizens use this resource to raise awareness and propose specific actions. Local land trusts, watershed associations, conservation commissions, open space committees, school environmental clubs, local businesses and interested citizens all can help generate public discussion of the coast's future by taking the following actions.
Organize Special Showings
Contact Chairs of local planning boards, conservation commissions, comprehensive planning committees, harbor committees and other relevant municipal bodies to see if they would be interested in having a special showing of Coastal Choices at one of their meetings. Make the same offer to other local groups such as the chamber of commerce, garden club, library, rotary club, or any others who have routine meetings with scheduled programs and a potential interest in this topic. If you learn about upcoming conferences where a video showing might be appropriate, contact the organizers and try to arrange a time when conference participants could see and discuss the Coastal Choices videos. Use the time following the video presentation to brainstorm ways that land conservation might help the community realize its visions for the future. Distribute copies of the "take-away" PDF sheets that accompany the videos to each audience member. Encourage them to share these pages with interested friends and colleagues, and offer to assist anyone who wants to host another video showing. Invite suggestions as to who else in the community should view this video and what steps community members might take to enhance local conservation initiatives.
Generate Media Interest
Consider which themes from the video (e.g., economic benefits of parks and trails; sustaining working waterfronts; educational benefits of conservation lands, ecotourism, or habitat preservation) are most relevant in your community. Contact your local newspaper about having an Op Ed or news story on one or more of these topics. Write a letter to the editor (using the recommended resources on the takeaway sheets) to support your position (and mention any upcoming showings of the video). Consider contacting your local cable television station to see if they would be willing to air the video.
Support Conservation Measures at Local and State Levels
Is there a land conservation effort underway in your community? Is your town engaged in open space planning, or considering a local land bond? Use this package as part of the campaign to build support for such initiatives. Coastal Choices also can be used to raise awareness and support for state conservation initiatives such as the Land for Maine's Future Program.