Local attorney/water expert appointed to Michigan Waterways Commission

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from state sources with notes by Cynthia Price

On Sept. 13, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced several appointments. Among them was West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC) Director of Water Programs Elaine Sterrett Isely, who is also an attorney.

She received her J.D. from Wayne State University Law School after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Maryland. After spending the early part of her career working at Legal Aid of Western Michigan and Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Program, Isely returned to school for her M.S. in Biology/Natural Resource Management, attending Grand Valley State University.

She worked as a research associate at GVSU, then briefly as the Green Infrastructure Initiative Project Manager for the West Michigan Strategic Alliance before it disbanded. She started her current position at WMEAC in 2012.

The Michigan State Waterways Commission is responsible for the acquisition, construction, and maintenance of recreational harbors, channels, docking and launching facilities, and administration of commercial docks in the Straits of Mackinac.

Isely will succeed Nicki Polan, whose term expired September 18, 2019, and she was appointed to represent the general public, for a term commencing September 19, 2019 and expiring September 18, 2022.

Patrick K. Egan, of Brimley, the board chair of medical paper products manufacturer Little Rapids Corporation, was also appointed for the same term.

Both appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.

Gov. Whitmer also made appointments to the Mackinac Bridge Authority; the Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority Board of Directors; the Underwater Salvage and Preserve Committee; Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force; and the Autism Council, which included appointment of Amy L. Matthews, Ph.D., the director of Statewide Autism Resources and Training Project (START) and the Autism Education Center at Grand Valley State University.