About the Institute

The Marine & Environmental Research Institute is a nonprofit scientific organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and people from the harmful impacts of toxic chemical exposure. The Institute produces scientific research that drives change and inspires solutions to the pressing environmental issues of our day. From flame retardants to plastics, our discoveries have informed public opinion and fueled key legislation, which impacts millions of people in Maine and across the country.

Generating Science, Translating Findings, Driving Environmental Change

Feature Story

From Laboratory to Legislature

Director Dr. Susan Shaw testifies in Minnesota to help pass the nation’s toughest ban on flame retardant chemicals to date. 

Scaled-back flame retardant ban clears House hurdle

A House committee has approved a bill that would ban four types of flame-retardant chemicals. > learn more

Photo by Elizabeth Dunbar / MPR News. © 2015 Minnesota Public Radio. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Reckless Endangerment: The Gulf Oil Spill Revisited - Susan Shaw at TEDxMidAtlantic


Focus Areas

Through its focused initiatives, the Institute addresses critical health and environmental issues related to toxic chemical exposure among people and wildlife. From ocean plastics to human and wildlfie exposure, we strive to bring science-based solutions to these priority concerns.

Human Exposure

Plastics and

Marine Wildlife Exposure

Oil Spill Response

Maine Coast Monitoring

Lecture Series

25th Anniversary


Upcoming Lectures

Wednesday August 10

Scott Elliott, documentary filmmaker, “Into The Gyre"

Filmmaker Scott Elliott will present his documentary chronicling a groundbreaking expedition under sail to the Sargasso Sea to study the location, extent and effect of plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Gyre. This 44 minute film on a significant scientific adventure has garnered many prestigious international awards.



Wednesday September 7    

Sharon Lerner, health and environment journalist, “Perfluorinated Chemicals and Global Contamination: What’s In Your Drinking Water?”   

Investigative journalist Sharon Lerner reports on her global investigations into PFC chemical contamination around the world. Her award-winning reporting follows a toxic trail from production sources to ground water, drinking water, and eventually, the oceans.                                              

How you can help support our important work

Your contribution supports our work to protect wildlife and people from the harmful impacts of toxic chemical exposure.