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Beach Clean Up! A Passion for the Environment (September 3, 2020)

Updated: Sep 10

With Zena Huhta, Lake Superior Program Coordinator, Natural Resources Department, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Baraga County

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 7 pm EDT, livestreamed via Facebook and Zoom (links below)

“Let’s Talk” is the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition livestream program that looks at how we, the people, can build sustainable communities in the UP. In our September 3rd program we hosted Zena Huhta from the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in Baraga County to talk about beach clean up. It may seem like a mundane task, but Zena speaks about her job with pride, enthusiasm, and passion. We’ll discuss everything from the importance of collecting the high volume of trash—especially plastic—to testing water at beaches for E. coli bacteria to protect not only the county’s residents, but also its many visitors. Many people are not aware of the environmental role of tribes in the UP. In future programs, UPEC hopes to highlight environmental work of KBIC and other tribes, such as fish stocking, restoring waterfronts, and protecting air quality. Tribes have taken the lead on conservation, which benefits all residents of the UP. UPEC is proud to showcase these activities.

About Zena Huhta

A native of Baraga, Zena Huhta attended Northern Michigan University where she earned an associate degree in criminal justice, leading to a career in corrections at the Baraga Max prison. Finding a need for greater fulfillment, she became a certified personal trainer, working for the Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College as their Fitness Center Coordinator. More schooling led to degrees in Liberal Studies and Business Administration from Ojibwa Community College. When the opportunity arose, she became Lake Superior Program Coordinator for the KBIC Natural Resources Department, which draws upon her love of the lake. Zena's small hobby farm provides peace and solitude along with her “ critters” and son. She says, “I love my life and that I am blessed to live where I do. We are gifted with so many amazing plants and animals.”

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