Inland Seas Education Association is expanding its Suttons Bay campus and creating new learning opportunities for Great Lakes advocates young and old in Leelanau County.

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Last December, Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) announced a significant expansion after acquiring a 0.7-acre lot south of their Suttons Bay campus—a development that means more opportunities for meaningful programming and environmental advocacy at the non-profit’s waterfront property.

Potential plans for the site include a boat shop, ship maintenance space and an outdoor classroom to allow for four-season use and new year-round programs. ISEA officials say all of these uses align with their five-year strategic plan, which focuses on offering “year-round, STEM-based educational programming designed to highlight and fully utilize all of [their] shoreside assets.”

Large ship sailing in Grand Traverse Bay

Photo by Inland Seas Education Association

“ISEA is proud to commit to Suttons Bay and Leelanau County as our forever home, and the addition of this property will greatly enhance our future plans,” says Fred Sitkins, ISEA executive director. “The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation has been a critical part of ISEA’s legacy, and this partnership will ensure that future Great Lakes scientists, engineers, educators and science-literate citizens will be inspired in Suttons Bay for generations to come.”

To view ISEA’s work firsthand, stop by the main campus at 100 Dame St. in Suttons Bay, where visitors can see exhibits in the newly remodeled Education Center and request a tour of the dormitory and lab space. Those interested in helping to expand year-round programming can contact Fred Sitkins at Check out the sailing programs offered by ISEA at or

Photo(s) by Inland Seas Education Association