Elaine Sterrett Isely

Director of Water Programs
esisely@wmeac.org | (616) 451-3051 ext 125

Elaine Sterrett Isely joined WMEAC to lead its Water Programs in 2012. She is a veteran of the West Michigan legal and environmental communities and has served as a Research Associate and Assistant for the Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University, Project Manager for the West Michigan Strategic Alliance’s Green Infrastructure Initiative, and Sea Grant Fellow with the Great Lakes Commission. Elaine was also previously a litigation attorney working on behalf of social justice causes in West Michigan, serving as a Staff Attorney for Michigan Migrant Legal Assistance Project, Inc. (Migrant Legal Aid) and Legal Aid of West Michigan in Grand Rapids.

As WMEAC’s Director of Water Programs, she oversees a team of staff and community partners working on a number of policy and education initiatives focused on stormwater and green infrastructure best practices; Rainwater Rewards Stormwater Calculator Workshops; Water Trail planning and development; Great Lakes coastal dunes; and other water quality issues. She regularly gives educational presentations on these issues; and has authored a number of technical reports and peer-reviewed academic manuscripts, many of which focus on collaborative natural resources management. She currently serves as the Chair of the Stormwater Oversight Commission and liaison to the Vital Streets Oversight Commission for the City of Grand Rapids.

A native of the Washington DC area, Elaine holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Maryland, a J.D. from the Wayne State University Law School, and an M.S. in Biology and Natural Resources Management from Grand Valley State University.