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Michigan: Earth Keepers (A Former EPA CARE Project)

The summary and links below provide a description and documentation of a Marquette, Michigan project that received a cooperative agreement from EPA’s former Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) Program in 2006. These case studies serve as historic references, and conditions since the project was funded may have changed.

The resources developed for this project provide communities with information about ways that other communities have addressed environmental issues. Communities can use these project results to reduce environmental impacts, understand risks and become stewards of their own environment.


Earth Keepers 
Marquette, Michigan 
EPA Region 5

The Earth Keepers CARE project focuses on the following environmental toxins: pharmaceuticals, household hazardous waste, e-waste, mercury, and toxins from household burn barrels. The Central Lake Superior Watershed Partnership, with technical support from EPA staff, will develop or adopt related community education and outreach materials tailored to address the issues of pharmaceuticals, household hazardous waste, e-waste, mercury, and toxins from household burn barrels. In addition, EPA staff will provide technical assistance regarding the development of draft community ordinances to address these issues, and achieve the desired pollution reduction goals. This project is uniquely capable of reaching the majority of the community population through the nine faith communities (representing over 25 congregations in the greater Marquette area, and over 120 congregations throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan) that have signed on to the Earth Keeper Agreement, and through the other project partners including local governments, Northern Michigan University, and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. 

Prospective CARE Partners:  In 2004 the Central Lake Superior Watershed Partnership (CSLWP) helped establish the Earth Keepers. Participating faiths included Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Jewish, Buddhist, Unitarian, and Bahai.  Other partners of the Earth Keepers including representatives from the environmental sector, industry, government, human health, business, recreation, and academia, further expand the ability of the Earth Keepers to inform and involve the community. Other partners include, but are not limited to, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and Northern Michigan University (NMU).

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