EarthKeepers II, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative-MI/WI Interfaith Goal to Reduce Airborne Mercury

Thanks to the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, EarthKeepers II is helping reduce airborne mercury — by assisting northern Michigan religious communities as they reduce energy consumption in their homes and Houses of Worship.

EarthKeepers II (EK II) is an interfaith community garden and energy conservation initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Northeast Wisconsin.

The two-year project is funded by the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in cooperation with Anishinaabe Native American tribes and 10 faiths representing 250 churches and temples.

EK II supports the planting of 30 interfaith community gardens that include vegetables — and pollinator-friendly native plants.

Reducing airborne mercury is the goal of energy conservation audits at 40 houses of worship — completed by the fall of 2013.

The in-depth reports will help churches and temples plan ways to reduce energy consumption.

EK II helps fund faith community energy conservation measures suggested by the inspections.

To further reduce airborne mercury – EK II educates congregations about ways to make their homes more energy efficient.

Founded by the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, the EK II team includes the EPA, the U.S. Forest Service and Delta Green, a Marquette based nonprofit corporation.

10 faith traditions sponsor EK II: Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Bahá’í, Unitarian Universalist and Zen Buddhist.

Among the urgent lifesaving issues addressed by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and its strategic partners:

  • Cleaning up toxics
  • Combating invasive species
  • Protecting watersheds from polluted run-off
  • Restoring wetlands and other wildlife habitat

That’s why EK II cares about the Great Lakes — and why you should too.