ISEA Receives Grants to Connect Land and Water


SUTTONS BAY, MI, April 11, 2022: Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) recently received grants from the NOAA Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) program and the Hagerty Corporate Giving program to provide training and programs that will connect actions on land with protecting our freshwater resources.

Educators and students will learn about issues impacting their watershed, an area that drains into our Great Lakes, and participate in experiences that demonstrate conservation and freshwater protection. Actions onshore that will be observed or implemented include combatting invasive species, promoting nearshore health by protecting watersheds from polluted runoff, and restoring wetlands and other habitats.

“Inland Seas was built on the premise that protecting the Great Lakes starts with education,” shared Fred Sitkins, ISEA Executive Director. “What happens in our lakes starts on land and we are educating youth and adults that our actions make a difference to our freshwater resources.”

A new cohort of teachers will participate in ISEA’s Great Lakes Watershed Field Course (GLWFC) for the 2022/23 school year through a $75,522 grant from NOAA B-WET. Educators will spend four days in the Grand Traverse region learning from local environmental experts on conservation topics. Inspired by this experience and knowledge gained in place-based education, teachers implement a watershed action project with their students in their local area, and a Schoolship experience connects their project to the Great Lakes. During the school year, ISEA supports educators through a series of group webinars as they implement their watershed action projects and up to $300 for project implementation. This will be the fourth cohort of teachers to go through the GLWFC. Application deadline for the 2022/23 program is April 29, 2022.

“We have learned that giving youth autonomy to identify an issue impacting their watershed and work collaboratively to solve that issue in their community builds personal connections and empowers them to be changemakers,” Juliana Lisuk, ISEA Associate Director explained.

Students in the Grand Traverse, Metro Detroit, and Metro Ann Arbor areas will benefit from a $10,000 grant to ISEA from the Hagerty Corporate Giving program. Through a Ship to Shore partnership between ISEA and Cranbrook Institute of Science (CIS), ISEA will receive training from CIS staff to deliver CIS Freshwater Forum programs in schools in the Grand Traverse Region. In addition, 10 schools from the above-listed areas that participate in CIS Freshwater Forum programs will receive a Schoolship scholarship to connect their learning to the lakes.

ISEA’s newly developed year-round Watershed Exploration programs also provide experiences for youth to connect land to water. These STEM programs focus on protecting the Great Lakes by understanding watersheds, exposing youth to Great Lakes careers, and by gaining experience with technology and skills used in the field. Programs include Study the Stream, Dissect the Watershed, ROV Engineer and Explore, Advanced ROV Programming, Navigate the Great Lakes, and Boatyard Challenge.

To learn more about ISEA’s training and programs that connect land and water, contact Juliana Lisuk at

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