Schooner Inland Seas to Visit Detroit

Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) will be in Detroit from July 12-17 with the Inland Seas, a 77-foot schooner that offers free deck tours for the public and provides public programming to the community. Inland Seas’ arrival is possible through ISEA’s partnership with local organizations, including the DTE Energy Foundation.

In 2019, the DTE Foundation awarded a grant to ISEA to bring the schooner Inland Seas to Detroit to provide unique educational experiences on the Detroit River resulting in 128 youth and adults participating free-of-charge. During that same trip, DTE was instrumental in connecting ISEA with Under the Radar Michigan. ISEA received a DTE Energy “Achievement in Excellence Award for Sustainability” in 2004 and ISEA Cherry Festival floats have been sponsored by DTE Energy over ISEA’s 32-year history.

“We are thankful that the DTE Foundation supports our mission,” said Fred Sitkins, ISEA Executive Director. “With their support we can affordably transit to the Detroit area to provide stewardship programming outside of our home port.”

The Detroit International Wildlife Refuge, the University of Michigan, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, and local scouting and youth groups are scheduled to receive programs aboard the schooner throughout the week.

The DTE Foundation awarded the organization an $80,000 grant payable over two years; $25,000 will be directed to matching scholarships for the organization’s Schoolship program – and $15,000 will go toward programming in Detroit in 2021 and 2022. This grant expands the DTE Foundation and ISEA’s long-term partnership since 2003.

“The DTE Foundation takes great pride in doing our part to be good stewards of our air, land and water – including the Great Lakes,” said Lynette Dowler, president, DTE Energy Foundation. “Through our partnership with Inland Seas Education Association we’ll take another step toward a cleaner, greener Michigan and we’ll educate Michiganders, creating good stewards of the environment – and the Great Lakes – for years to come.”

Individuals can board the ship in Detroit July 12, 14, and 17:

  • Monday, July 12 – board at the Detroit International Wildlife Refuge from 4:30-6:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 14 and Saturday, July 17 – board on the south side of the GM Renaissance Center between 4:30-6:30 pm

The vessel is regulated by the US Coast Guard so those wishing to go below deck must bring a mask. A mask is not required to be outside on deck.

After leaving Detroit, ISEA will sail the schooner to Houghton, MI to launch Lake Superior programming, which will take place in Houghton, Marquette, and Sault Ste. Marie. Visit to see all the 2021 ports visited.

ISEA addresses the need to protect the Great Lakes, which has a global as well as regional economic impact, through education. Since 1989, Inland Seas has educated over 130,000 youth and adults about the health of the Great Lakes through their school and public programs.

“The Great Lakes contain 20% of Earth’s accessible fresh water supply and roughly 84% of North America’s surface fresh water,” according to Sitkins. “We believe it’s everyone’s job to steward this resource through career choices, lifestyle choices, communication choices, and more.”

Bringing this message outside their home port of Suttons Bay in Lake Michigan is one way the organization is fulfilling their stewardship mission.

More about Inland Seas Education Association and their school and public programs can be found at