Bioregional Learning Journey Launches Seagrass Conservation in Gulf of Maine: A Case Study of Governance Response to Ecosystem Change


  • Glenn Page SustainaMetrix
  • Sam Matey SustainaMetrix
  • Yasmin Johnston COBALT Network
  • Mik Schulte University of Maine School of Law
  • Lauren Hayden University of New England
  • Sigrid Knag Norwegian University of Life Science


Seagrass, Bioregional Learning Journey, Community Science, Governance Response to Ecosystem Change


In response to the polycrisis, a case study of governance response to ecosystem change by civil society is presented with a focus on seagrass meadow conservation and restoration as a globally important nature-based solution to the climate emergency. A week-long bioregional learning journey was launched in August 2022 as the culmination of a two-year community-engagement process to examine governance response to one of the most rapidly warming systems on earth, the Gulf of Maine. While government and market forces have played essential roles in this bioregion (Casco Bay Watershed, Gulf of Maine), civil society has played an outsized role since the 1970s. It has the potential to contribute significantly to navigation in the decades ahead through mapping multi-scale and multi-phase responses to dramatic ecosystem change. Results illustrate the paramount importance of integrating indigenous wisdom and western science, confronting issues of colonization, collective ‘seeing’ of complex systems through transformative experiences such as bioregional learning journeys, and strong support for the launch of Team Zostera in Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine, USA. Casco Bay contains some of the largest expanses of seagrass habitat in the western North Atlantic. It allows civil society to enable governance response to ecosystem change further.

Author Biographies

Glenn Page, SustainaMetrix

For over 30 years, Glenn has been working on creating pathways to transformation of our coastal communities across the globe, working at the interface of science, policy and practice. As restoration ecologist, he integrates regenerative design, local knowledge and community engagement to restore natural systems (i.e. dunes, rivers, wetlands and forests), focusing on ecosystem function, equivalency and valuation. Currently, he is the President/CEO of SustainaMetrix, focusing on “Navigating in the Anthropocene” as Glenn leads a team of interdisciplinary experts who brings innovation, evaluation and systems thinking to complex, messy, cross-scale, wicked challenges of our time.

Sam Matey, SustainaMetrix

Sam Matey is a geospatial environmental scientist working towards a good Anthropocene. He currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, from the University of Southern Maine and a Master of Applied Geospatial Information Systems and Technologies (MAGIST) from UCLA. His research interests include renewable energy site selection, climate risk analysis, GIS for conservation and climate science, ecological, climate, and socioeconomic data visualization, nature-based climate solutions, novel ecosystems, keystone species, citizen science, wildlife conservation in the Anthropocene, ecosystem modeling, and remote sensing. Available at, LinkedIn, and

Yasmin Johnston, COBALT Network

Yasmin is a recent graduate from the University of Technology Sydney with a Bachelor of Social and Political Sciences. She has a wide range of experience in the social and humanitarian sector including with refugee organisations in Australia, Colombia, and France. Within the COBALT Network she provides technical and logistical assistance.

Mik Schulte, University of Maine School of Law

Mik is a law student at the University of Maine School of Law. A North Carolina native, Mik has spent more than ten years working on the water nexus between the public and private sectors, including over six years working internationally in Australia, South Africa, Chile, Colombia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Nigeria, and Ethiopia. As a law student, Mik is interested in business and transactional law and further developing Maine’s Blue Economy.

Lauren Hayden, University of New England

Lauren is a master’s student in the School of Marine and Environmental Programs at the University of New England in Biddeford, Maine. Lauren grew up on Peaks Island, Maine and has maintained a close connection to the sea. Her graduate research centers around mapping local eelgrass beds with a combination of remote sensing techniques including side scan sonar and aerial drones.

Sigrid Knag, Norwegian University of Life Science

Sigrid is studying Data Science with a specialization in Geoinformatics at the Norwegian University of Life Science. She is passionate about bioregional mapping and is now using her studies to learn how one can monitor the health of the earth with geographical data. Since June 2022 she has been working at SustainaMetrix.




How to Cite

Page, G., Matey, S., Johnston, Y., Schulte, M., Hayden, L., & Knag, S. (2022). Bioregional Learning Journey Launches Seagrass Conservation in Gulf of Maine: A Case Study of Governance Response to Ecosystem Change. Social Innovations Journal, 15(5). Retrieved from



Transformations Case Studies