Friday, December 24, 2010

Join ISEA's Volunteer Instructors to Protect the Great Lakes Through Education

Become an ISEA volunteer instructor and help us provide students with a unique Schoolship experience. The 2011 Volunteer Instructor Training Course takes place on Wednesday evenings from 6:30-8:30pm at the NMC Water Studies Institute in Traverse City. Come to the introductory session on January 5th to learn more about volunteering with ISEA. We hope to see you there!

Volunteer Training Program :: Inland Seas Education Association


ISEA/Shedd Aquarium Students upon arrival in Chicago, August 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

News From the Boat Shop

ISEA's 9th Canoe has been planked will be ready to turn over soon (after a lot more sanding!). The last step to planking is the "football" that goes on the very bottom. These photos show this procedure. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Asian Carp Video From ABC News

Here is a good primer on the Asian carp invasion from ABC News.  Thanks to Craig Holmes for passing this along. 

And lots more info from Circle of Blue!  -Tom K.

Thad Koza, Tall Ship Photographer, Crosses the Bar

Inland Seas photograph by Thad Koza

Thad Koza, internationally known photographer of tall ships, passed away recently from cancer. Thad was a good friend of Inland Seas, and has given several presentations in the area, both for ISEA and for Maritime Heritage Alliance.  Additional information is available on the ASTA web site.   Fair winds, Thad, and we'll see you in Fiddlers' Green.  - Capt. Tom

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Michigan's Asian Carp Action Plan Available for Review

Update: Dec. 2, 2010.  U. S. District Judge turns down states' request to shut locks.  Read more by clicking here.

The State of Michigan DNRE has published its Asian Carp Plan at  I also recommend, as good background material, the paper done by Brammeier, Polls & Mackey in 2008:  Prelinary Feasibility of Ecological Separation of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes to Prevent Transfer of Aquatic Invasive Species. 

For a possible solution on how to get barges from one watershed to another, have a look at

-Tom K.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Waste Water Education 501(c)3 Presents Web-Seminar on Pharmaceuticals in Water

PPCP series logoOn Wednesday December 1, 10 am EST -

Prescription For The Future?  

The presenter is Herbert T. Buxton - U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Toxic Substances Hydrology Program Coordinator.

The second seminar in this series, examining the potential and realized impact of pharmaceutical products in the environment, will be presented via live internet video feed at 10 am EST on December 1.

There is no charge for attending this internet seminar but space is limited. To register contact - or call 231 233 1806.

It will run until approximately 11.30am. The meeting will stay open for discussion afterwards.

The presentation is free to the public - you may attend via your own computer at home or office or can attend in person at the Benzie County Health Department - where the event is being sponsored by the Benzie County League of Women Voters. This option is offered for people who want to discuss the issue afterwards or don't have a high speed internet service.

Content will be a review of recently completed and current research in progress, on the presence of, environmental and public health impact of, pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in wastewater, drinking, surface and ground water.

There is growing concern about the long term effects of PPCPs on human health and the natural environment - through a series of science based seminars WasteWater Education 501(c)3, seeks to provide some clarity to the risks involved.

What's in Our Wastewaters and Where Does it Go?

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has implemented a national reconnaissance to provide baseline information on the environmental occurrence of "emerging contaminants" such as human and veterinary pharmaceuticals (e.g., fluoxetine and lincomycin), industrial and household wastewater products (e.g., p-nonyphenol and triclosan), and reproductive and steroidal hormones (e.g., equilenin and progesterone) in water resources. 142 streams, 55 wells, and 7 effluent samples were collected across 36 states as part of this national reconnaissance effort. A majority of the sites sampled were those suspected to be susceptible to emerging contaminants from animal or human wastewaters. This national reconnaissance of emerging contaminants is the first of its kind in the United States. (Source: )

Whether your drinking water comes from a private well and aquifer or via a municipal system; whether you have a private onsite wastewater system or connect to a municipal sewer; if you live by an ocean, a lake or a stream - traces of pharmaceutical products have been detected. When prescriptions and over-the-counter drug purchases now run in the billions annually it's not surprising. The general misconception is that the body consumes the total dose - which is far from true. In addition, some municipal wastewater treatment process can increase the toxicity of flushed medications and cannot effectively remove them prior to discharge to a local lake or river.

Although the amounts are measured in parts-per-billion or million, what is the long term accumulative effect on people and the environment? USGS lead research attempts to provide some answers.

To register contact - or call 231 233 1806.

The first seminar in this series, Al Alwan, Ph.D.Water Quality Branch, Water Division, Environmental Protection Agency Region 5: Alternative Approaches to Address Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCP) Environmental Fate . - may be viewed at this link. -

Friday, November 19, 2010

Recent Activities at the Inland Seas Education Center

A Full House for the Asian Carp Seminar by Mark Breederland on Nov. 9

Suttons Bay High School Students, under the direction of Mr. T, planning their video shoot for TV Teleganza
UpNorth TV Teleganza is tomorrow, Nov. 20 at the State Theatre.  It's a big deal, and a good deal!

Friday, November 12, 2010

"An Ecological History of Grand Traverse Bay" to be Presented in Elk Rapids

The Elk Rapids Area Historical Society’s final program for 2010 is, “An Ecological History of Grand Traverse Bay.” It will be presented by Tom Kelly on Wednesday November 17th, 7:00 p.m. at the Historic Elk Rapids Township Hall, 401 River Street (across from the tennis courts). Note: this is the only Wednesday night program this season.
Zebra Mussels in Grand Traverse Bay.  Chris Doyle Photo

An Ecological History of Grand Traverse Bay is a program that tells the story of the changing environment of the Grand Traverse Bay region, from the glaciers to the present day.

There are many stories to be told, from the immense continental glaciers of the late Pleistocene to the tiny zebra mussels and other invader species that have transformed the Bay in the last few decades.

The effects of lumbering, fishing, damming, farming and urbanization are included, as is a peak through the curtain into the future ecology of the Bay.

Tom Kelly is the Executive Director of the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA). He has worked for the University of Michigan as a limnologist on the Great Lakes and inland lakes, and as a Sea Grant Marine Field Agent in Traverse City, MI. Beginning in 1978, he did consulting work in fisheries and water quality. In November 1986 Tom sailed aboard the sloop Clearwater doing environmental education programs for students in the Hudson River Valley. This experience led to the formation, in 1989, of the Inland Seas Education Association. Tom is currently the Captain of ISEA’s flagship, the 77’ schooner Inland Seas.

Tom’s greatest joy comes from bringing the wonders of the Great Lakes to those who have not experienced them before. During the 2010 ISEA Schoolship season, 3,284 students sailed on the schooner Inland Seas (86,393 since Inland Seas Education Association was founded in 1989).

ISEA conducted dockside programs for 4,263 people at the Escanaba City Marina, Fayette State Park, Traverse City Film Festival, Tall Ships Chicago, and the Michigan Schooner Festival. Additionally, ISEA’s Summer Music Festival attracted 1,300 people.

Admission Fee: $5.00 suggested donation for adults and $2.00 donation for students (under age 18) is requested at the door for these programs. Any free-will donation will be graciously accepted! All proceeds benefit the Elk Rapids Area Historical Society.

For more information contact Dan LeBlond, President, Elk Rapids Area Historical Society;

Tel. 231-264-8984 or send e-mail to: Visit our website at: view a listing of 2011 programs and special events.

Propeller Service With A Smile

Our friend and favorite working diver, Chris Doyle, came to the ship yesterday and greased the Max-Prop feathering propeller. This service is needed once or twice a year to keep the propeller working properly. Thanks to Chris for donating this service.

30" Max-Prop

Chris at Work

Allen Wolfe and Chris Doyle after the dive.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Attention Teachers: Invasive Species Workshop in TC

Join the Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) for the Invasive Species Teacher Workshop on November 15 & 22, 2010 from 4:30 - 7:30pm at the Boardman River Nature Center in Traverse City. The session on November 15 will focus on aquatic invasive species, and the session on November 22 will focus on terrestrial invasive species. The goal of this workshop is to provide teachers with content knowledge about aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, promote a sense of stewardship for the Great Lakes watershed, and prepare teachers to teach their students about invasive species prevention and control.

This 2-session Invasive Species Teacher Workshop will use a unique combination of content presentations and classroom and outdoor activities to inform teachers about current invasive species issues and how they can incorporate invasive species curriculum into their classrooms. Presentations will be provided by recognized experts and will include an overview and history of invasive species, identification of common invaders, and efforts to control and prevent their introduction and spread. Teachers will participate in activities that can be incorporated into their classrooms, and will be provided with a wealth of educational materials, including fact sheets, watch cards, identification books, posters, DVDs, and curriculum.

The Invasive Species Teacher Workshop is free of charge, but space is limited to 20 participants. Participants will receive a stipend for each session they attend, and an additional stipend for classroom supplies to those attending both sessions. Dinner will also be provided. For more information or to register for the workshop, please contact me at the ISEA office.

Christine Crissman
ISEA Education Director
(231) 271-3077

Asian Carp Seminar in Sutons Bay Tonight

"Asian Carp: the Latest Threat to the Great Lakes" November 9, 2010

The Inland Seas Education Association will present a seminar that focuses on current issues involving Asian carp at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, November 9th, at the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay. The program will be presented by Mark Breederland, Michigan Sea Grant Extension Educator. This seminar is free and open to the public.

Bighead Carp, Illinois River, Dec. 3, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Schmuckal Oil Co. Helps Keep Inland Seas Running Smoothly

The photo below shows Inland Seas' Tom Kelly accepting one of two cases of Shell Rotella oil donated by Paul Schkmuckal and the Schmuckal Oil Company of Traverse City.  Thanks to Schmuckal Oil for this annual gift that keeps our John Deere diesel running smoothly all season long. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leelanau School Students Help With Fall Clean-Up

Four students from Leelanau School came to the Inland Seas Education Center yesterday afternoon to help with fall chores.  Led by Elizabeth Blondia, the group put away our small boats, washed the boatshop windows and exterior walls, and installed the covers on the AC units. We look forward to having these hard workers back again.  Thanks to Nina, CJ, Daniel, and Danny! 

Inland Seas Covered for the Winter

This past week Inland Seas received her winter cover.  The crew, led by Capt. Champt, put on the shrink wrap cover during a break in the windy fall weather.  The frame was installed before we left our home dock in Suttons Bay.  Thanks also to crew members Bob and Allen. 
Inland Seas at Center Pointe with cover frame installed

Cover in place. 

Thanks to Center Pointe and Harbor West 25 LLC for providing our winter berth!  -Capt. Tom 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tom Kastle back in TC this Friday at Horizon Books

Just to let you know Tom Kastle will be playing at Horizon Books on Friday, October 22nd 8:30-10:30 pm. Please help spread the word. Thanks! --Tom Kelly (for Tom Kastle)

PS: Bring your singing voice

Tom Kastle can be reached at  His web site is :

Captain Tom

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Home Schoolers Utilize the ISEC Library and Lab

Leelanau Home Schoolers do research in the Inland Seas Education Center Library last week.
Today students collected benthic organisms and isolated several small critters (worms) to begin a permenant microscope slide collection.

Winter Lay-Up Begins

Yesterday afternoon the crew, lead by Captain Champt, unbent the sails.  Today the running rigging and the fore topmast are coming down. 
Allen preparing the fore topmast for lowering.

Trip to NMC Great Lakes Campus - Oct 11 & 12

On Monday we took Inland Seas to Traverse City for the Great Lakes Funders meeting at the Great Lakes Campus of Northwestern Michigan College.  The trip home on Tuesday was mostly in fog, and we had to dodge around some fishing boats near Power Island.  A good trip, and our last one before heading for our winter berth later this month. 
Early morning at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy

Foggy conditions on the way north.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010 Final Class of 2010 - NMC Watershed Studies

Early at the Schoolship Dock
Thanks to Colleen Masterson Bzdok for bringing her Watershed Studies class today.  It was a great way to end the season!  Thanks to all Schoolship Volunteer Instructors also.     Capt. Tom

October 4 - NMC Watershed Studies Class

Early Morning Oct. 4 - First Frost of the Season

Sunset on Suttons Bay

Christine instructs the limnology station

Secchi Disc

Sept. 30 - October 1: Kalkaska MS & Blair Elementary

Thanks for sailing with us, Kalkaska and Blair.  We had great weather (not like forecast) and everyone enjoyed their trip. 

Blair students return to dock, Sept. 30

Capt. Remy swings her into the dock.  9-30-10
More class photos at

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week of September 27 - Willow Hill & Kalkaska

Early Morning, Sept. 27, 2010

Bringing up the trawl, Sept. 28

Lucky Willow Hill Student

Kalkaska MS at end of voyage
This week we started Schoolship Programs with much better weather!  Willow Hill Elementary and Kalkaska Middle School sailed with us on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Many thanks to Global Marine Insurance, sponsor of the three Willow Hill class trips.  Click here for more class photos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gales Greet Groves High School

High winds faced the group from Groves High School, Birmingham, today.  Capt. Remy brought the ship in early after the winds topped 35 knots.  We have a visitor in Suttons Bay today also; a Canadian tug/barge has sought shelter here from the 9-14' seas on Lake Michigan.

A Soggy Day on Grand Traverse Bay for Willow Hill Elementary

The first of three Willow Hill Elementary School classes sailed with us yesterday.  With over 2 inches of rain, the students looked like drowned rats.  But they were great sports, and no one complained about the weather.   We started out as usual to set the trawl but we quickly came back to the dock after we heard thunder in the distance.  We continued the program in the Education Center until about 10:45 when the weather improved (moderate to light rain) to let us go out again. We sailed under mainsail and stays'l, with the deck awning in place to give us some protection fromt the rain.  Despite the tough weather, everyone was smiling at the end of the trip.  Thanks, Willow Hill, for being good foul weather shipmates. --Capt. Tom
Wet, but happy helmsmen! (and women)

Crewman Bob, just before raising the mainsail.

We made it!

Lakeshore HS Research Cruise - Sept. 22, 2010

A wonderful group of Lakeshore HS students (Stevensville, MI) sailed with us Wednesday on an all-day research cruise to Suttons Bay and Omena Bay. Water, zooplankton and fish samples were collected in each location and the data will be analyzed when the students return to class.  Thanks for the great day on the Schoolship.  -Capt. Tom
Looking for Zooplankton

Hauling up the anchor, Omena Bay

LSSU Great Lakes Ecology & Sustainability, Day Four

After breakfast at anchor, we motored out to the head of Old Mission harbor and did a trawl tow along the northeast shore. We did a limnology station and then headed out into East Bay to sample the "deep hole", at a depth of 608 feet.  Our dredge brought up a mud sample with amphipods, a Mysis, an oligichaete worm and a midge larve. We also sent down some foam cups which returned to the surface much reduced in size (from the water pressure).

Benthos from the Deep Hole.  Mysis is the large specimen near bottom of dish. 

Recording Shore Development Data
Lunch is served.  Thanks, Greg.

This is for Jerry Dennis.  Students with their copies of "The Living Great Lakes"
We sailed from Elk Rapids to Omena where we did more sampling.  Only 2ppm dissolved oxygen found in the bottom waters.  Then home to Suttons Bay with more shoreline analysis underway.  This was a great trip, and we are looking forward to sailing with LSSU again next season.  --Capt. Tom

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lake Superior State University - Great Lakes Ecology & Sustainability Class - Day 3

From Power Island we motored up to Bowers Harbor (with fire and abandon ship drills enroute) to do a fish trawl and limnology station.  The catch was 4 rock bass and 13 round goby.  From there we motored along the east shore of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay so the Shore Development and Phragmites groups could collect their data. We docked at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy briefly to explore the lower Boardman River using the stern boat. 

Boardman River in Traverse City

From Traverse City we sampled the lower West Arm (2 smallmouth bass, 16 rock bass, 22 roundy goby, 1 white sucker, secchi disc=13.5 meters) and sailed up the west side of the bay until 4;30 pm when we sailed off for Old Mission Harbor, arriving at 7 pm. 

Logan and the "Living Great Lakes"

Remy and Tyler light the anchor lanterns
Class continues into the evening
Moonrise over Old Mission