UPEC Livestreams: Keeping you connected with the UP environment

Our three series of livestreams, co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann, keep you up-to-date with environmental issues facing the Upper Peninsula.

  • “This Is It!”: The latest on important UP environmental concerns

  • “The Energy Show”: Current issues and future transformations in how the UP gets and uses energy

  • “Let’s Talk”: Building sustainable communities in the UP

You can view recordings of the livestreams anytime on the UPEC YouTube channel.

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Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Guest: Sarah Monte, Outreach Director, Marquette Food Co-op


This installment of the “This Is It!” livestream series of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition features a look into the U.P.'s food system and how farmers and local food advocates are building access to healthy and sustainable food for everyone. Why does small scale, local agriculture matter? What barriers to access stand in the way, and how can we develop healthier communities and a thriving environment through food?


Sarah Monte has been spreading the word about good food for more 10 years. A certified teacher with degrees in history and political science, Sarah also has experience with farming, managing farmers markets, marketing, and curriculum development in the health and local food sectors. She loves helping people make connections and find resources in the local food network, so she’d be glad to answer any questions you have.


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This installment of the “This Is It!” livestream of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition featured a close look at a controversial proposal, sprung upon the Marquette community with great fanfare last summer: a spaceport on Lake Superior. Our guest was Dennis Ferraro, president of a new nonprofit called Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior.  You can find out more about them at https://www.facebook.com/Citizens-for-a-Safe-Clean-Lake-Superior-101326901764542.

After an online petition garnered 21,000 signatures opposing a spaceport, CSCLS formed to defeat the plan, which is seen as damaging to an outdoor recreational-based economy, a danger to public safety, an interference with vested property rights, and a threat to the quality of life enjoyed by Powell and Marquette Township residents.

When Ferraro, a retired trial attorney with long-standing family ties to the UP, took up residence three years ago with his family on the shoreline of Lake Superior near Marquette, he was inspired to become involved in environmental issues. After getting his feet wet and learning from activists, Ferraro now finds himself as president of  CSCLS. He will make the case that there is no compelling need to industrialize the pristine Lake Superior shoreline at the estate of Granot Loma.


You can contact CSCLS at contactcscls@gmail.com.


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“The Energy Show” is the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream program that looks at the future of energy use in the UP. On this program, we visited with Jennifer McKay, Policy Director of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in Petoskey. Jennifer has extensive experience on water issues and frequently testifies before legislative committees on bills. as well as talking to groups. She and your UPEC livestream hosts had a conversation about what is happening with Enbridge’s Line 5 fuel pipeline, including the latest legislative, legal, regulatory, and technical issues. The controversy over Line 5 has become an octopus with multiple tentacles, each raising different questions and unresolved problems.

Then, with the election less than a week away, we switched to voting, with an environmental focus. We went over some basics in case you're not familiar with Michigan voting requirements. Then we talked about how your vote affects public environmental policy. A good example is Proposition 1, which asks voters how state trust funds for our natural resource acquisitions and infrastructure should be spent.


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