Businesses Support Inland Seas Education Association

In fiscal year 2016-17, Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) received support from over 55 businesses, foundations, clubs, and organizations from across the country. The donations included grants, matching gifts, restricted donations, memberships, general donations, and gifts-in-kind which came from Michigan, Wisconsin, Colorado, Ohio, South Carolina, New Jersey, Indiana, California, Illinois, and Florida.

While much of the funding came from foundations, multiple service clubs such as Rotary, Kiwanis, and Zonta Clubs provided support. “The service organizations have been very supportive of ISEA over the years.” said Fred Sitkins, Executive Director of Inland Seas Education Association. “They provide opportunities for school children to learn aboard the schooners Inland Seas or Manitou by funding scholarships for classrooms or individual students. Our Young Women in STEM programs are filled mostly with high school girls sponsored by the Zonta Clubs in Michigan.”

Three businesses chose membership with Inland Seas Education Association this fiscal year. All business memberships support ISEA operations and include a listing on the ISEA website. Some memberships also include sponsorship of a class Schoolship experience and public sail tickets. Business members for 2016-17 were Chemical Bank-Suttons Bay Branch, Schmuckal Oil Company, and Western Michigan University. More information on business membership can be found on the ISEA website under the donate button.

Businesses can also support ISEA and a local classroom in their community through the Adopt-a-Class program. For $825, a business can sponsor an entire class to experience science aboard the 77′ schooner Inland Seas or 114′ Manitou. Inland Seas encourages businesses to choose a classroom from their community to support, but will assign a class if necessary. To receive more information about the Adopt-a-Class program, email

“We cannot thank our business and organization funders enough for giving of their resources so that students have the opportunity to become scientists and sailors and learn to love the Great Lakes with us.” Sitkins said. In addition to business donors, hundreds of individual donors support ISEA programming.