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September 18, 2023

$500K FAME loan comes through for $2M research station on Hurricane Island

building under construction on rocks with water Courtesy / Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership The shoreside field station on Hurricane Island is seen here under construction earlier this year.

Soon after cutting the ribbon on its new field research station, the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership learned some good news. The center will receive the $499,161 loan it requested from a program administered by the Finance Authority of Maine in order to complete the station’s buildout.

“This is a significant development in our fundraising effort and demonstrates strong support from the state of Maine and speaks to the relevance of this new facility in the Gulf of Maine,” the center’s outreach manager, Nate Hathaway, told Mainebiz. 

The loan comes from FAME’s Thrive Maine forgivable loan program for businesses and nonprofits, which makes investments in strategic, forward-looking plans that strengthen organizations, increase jobs and lift the Maine economy, according to FAME’s website.

The program offers loans ranging from $10,000 to $500,000. Loans are forgiven at a rate of 25% per year over a four-year period.

While the structure of the $2 million research station is complete, the building still needs to be fully equipped, including installation of a flowing seawater lab, first-story panel siding, solar power system, and scientific and educational fixtures and supplies.

The goal is to complete the work this fall and be operational by next spring.

Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, on 125-acre Hurricane Island in Penobscot Bay, is a science and education nonprofit that conducts marine science research, hosts visiting researchers, and offers experiential education programs for young people. 

The Thrive Maine program is funded by the federal American Rescue Plan, enacted in 2021, with $58 million allocated by the Legislature and Gov. Janet Mills to support Maine small businesses.

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