Executive Director's Newsletter - April 2017
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Executive Director's Newsletter

April 2017

Hopefully by now you’ve heard about the many exciting programs on the horizon for this sailing season. There are a good number of schools signed up for the remotely operated vehicle challenge course program being run from our new ship, Utopia. Throughout the summer there is a broad range of multi-day programs serving high school students, college students, and adults. Thirty teachers from all around the Great Lakes region, including Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, are coming to ISEA to participate in an in-depth training series on incorporating meaningful watershed education experiences for their students. And we've added a variety of two-hour public sails to the schedule.

While we have these exciting initiatives on our immediate horizon, it’s important that we focus on the people that have made these opportunities possible. The professional staff, interns, consultants, and volunteers engaged with ISEA are amazing people and deserving of recognition. I don’t think it’s possible to fully understand the amount of time and energy that goes into creating the number of unique experiences that we provide. I can assure you, there is no “down time” at Inland Seas. While I am happy with the quantity of work completed, I’m most pleased with the quality of this work. There is a big difference between getting a job done and doing an exceptional job. Inland Seas is special because all of those involved with ISEA understand how to create the highest levels of professionalism. We hope you have an opportunity to engage with us at some point this year, and when you do, please recognize our staff, volunteers, interns, etc. on a job well done.

Saving Arcadia Book Launch

Tom Kelly and the schooner Inland Seas played a key role in preserving 6,000 acres of Lake Michigan shoreline. Read about it in Heather Shumaker's new book, Saving Arcadia. RSVP for the book launch here


Upcoming ISEA Seminar



Boardman River Selective Fish Passage National Demonstration:

Keeping out the bad and encouraging the good!

April 11, 2017
6:30-8:00 pm

ISEA Education Center

This seminar will discuss a broad overview of the project and the preliminary ideas of the recently announced Selective Fish Passage Demonstration on the Boardman River.  Announced by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission in Fall 2016, The Boardman River Union Street Dam site was chosen to implement a state-of-the-art system to keep adult sea lamprey upstream of the project site while allowing self-sustaining populations of various fish species to migrate to and from Lake Michigan and all the way up the Boardman River watershed.  The project is in its very initial stages of a possible 10 year experiment to be followed with a long-term operational mode allowing such selective fish passage.

Information about the presenter, Mark Breederland, can be found on our website. This is the last seminar of the 2017 Seminar Series.

GTSI Informational Meeting

The Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative (GTSI) is accepting applications from Grand Traverse region teachers interested in professional development that connects place-based learning to standards. Join this network of teachers and community partners as they share resources and support one another.
Come learn more about GTSI and place-based education
while enjoying appetizers and good conversation.

Informational meeting

Wednesday, April 12
5:15 - 6:30 pm
NMC Great Lakes Campus, Room 112
Are you a Michigan teacher outside of the Grand Traverse region?
Visit to view the eight other hubs of the stewardship initiative throughout the state!

Please share with a teacher you know!

Public Summer Sailing Schedule is Live!

In addition to our traditional 3-hour Great Lakes Discovery Sails and 2-hour Astronomy Sails, we have added four new two-hour sails and three specialty sails to our schedule this summer. Public sailing begins in June and can be found on our website calendar. Booking tickets can also be found on our website by clicking on the Book online now! button at the top right of the screen!
  • Great Lakes Discovery Sail
  • Astronomy Under Sail
  • Great Lakes Under the Microscope
  • What's in the Great Lakes Food Web?
  • Fishes of Lake Michigan
  • Steady the Ship
  • Breakfast on the Schooner
  • Music with a Purpose
  • Painting for a Purpose
Check back soon as we will be adding the public ROV program!

Volunteer Instructor and Crew Member Trainings

There are still a few volunteer instructor and crew member trainings left this Spring. If you or someone you know would be interested in supporting the important work of ISEA as a volunteer, please consider attending an upcoming training.

Volunteer Instructor Training Dates

Sessions take place at NMC's Water Studies Building GL112 from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm.

April 10: Seamanship
April 17: Microplastics

All-day trainings cover ALL of the stations and will be held at the Inland Seas Education Center from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. 

April 24: New Instructor All Day Training
April 27: Returning Instructor All Day Training


Volunteer Crew Training Dates

Sessions take place at Inland Seas Education Center from 5:30 - 8:00 pm. 

April 13: Line Handling & Knots

The shakedown sails will take place on Inland Seas (in Suttons Bay) and will feature sailing basics, emergency drills, and more. 

April 25: 9am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm
April 26: 9am - 12pm & 1pm - 4pm

"Wet Runs" (a dress rehearsal for our three major programs) take place from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm. These are open to both volunteer instructors and crew.
May 2: Traditional Program
May 3: Next-Gen Program
May 4: Diving Deeper Program

Sign up for training

Seeking Boat Donations and Nautical Items

Spring is around the corner! As you do your Spring cleaning, consider donating your boat or nautical items to Inland Seas. The Inland Seas donated boat program is a great fundraiser for the organization. Donated boats are listed and sold throughout the summer. Your nautical items will be sold at two nautical flea market events in 2017 (July 15th and August 5th). Email us for more information or if you'd like to learn how Inland Seas will put your tax-deductible contribution to work Protecting the Great Lakes through Education.

Opti Pram Class Update

The Opti Pram boat building class is at the half-way point and we thought you'd enjoy some pictures of their progress. Thanks again to Ed Beuerle of Northern Building, Gus O’Brien from Hansen Foods, TUKTAWA Foundation, and the Suttons Bay-Bingham Endowment for supporting the pram building program this year. (Photo credit to Claudette Johnson. Thank you!)

Get Onboard with Young People in STEM

Our three-day research-based Young People in STEM programs still have spots available. Ten high school students eat, sleep, and work aboard the schooner while deeply exploring the functioning and health of the Great Lakes. This life-changing sailing and research adventure opens their eyes to the realities of careers in the freshwater and STEM fields and forms our future scientists, mathematicians, designers, and engineers. If you know of someone that might benefit from this program, please direct them to our YPIS page on our website or have them fill out our YPIS Inquiry Form. Thanks to ISEA donors, the cost for this three-day trip is just $300!

Young Men in STEM trips:

June 14-16, 2017 Depart from Suttons Bay, Arrive in Frankfort
July 7-9, 2017 Depart from Mackinaw City or St Ignace, Arrive in Hessel

Young Women in STEM trips:

June 18-20, 2017 Depart from Frankfort, Arrive in Suttons Bay
July 28-30, 2017 Depart from Charlevoix, Arrive in Charlevoix or Suttons Bay

Donate While You Shop

Inland Seas has signed up as a charitable organization on Amazon Smile. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases every time you shop with Amazon. Purchases must be made through, but your shopping experience will remain the same. 
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