Given the difficulties island residents face when they have to get to an off-island meeting, it’s remarkable that the new Islands Coalition has been able to hold four meetings since it came into existence last spring. It’s also a testament to the tough issues these small communities face: the lack of affordable housing, unfair property taxes, the lack of revenue sources other than property taxes, the high cost of living, even scarce access to the Internet.

The very existence of this new coalition is recognition that islanders know they have skills and experiences to share, and that by facing their challenges together they at least have a chance of making progress. Populations of Maine islands are very small — look at the vote totals we report elsewhere in this issue of WWF if you don’t believe that — but combined, determined islanders (and residents of other isolated communities on the coast) make up a voting bloc big enough to be heard.