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      Keeping land and sea clean

      Crystal clear water and beautiful forest are a few things we can all take for granted. But the Superior Watershed partnership and land grant does not. Started in 1999, they work hard to keep not just Superior beautiful, but the whole U.P.

      "Our mission is to protect Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, watershed by watershed. We are a staff of four with many seasonal staff in the summertime and dozens and dozens of volunteers," said Natasha Koss of the partnership.

      One recent partnership program is the Red Bucket Project in Marquette. The buckets, used for collecting cigarette butts, are in front of almost every downtown store front, and they're not just for show.

      "People have noticed that there's less cigarette butts on the beaches. They notice when the rivers start to run a little's really, while it is, of course, about all the different species in the lakes, it's also about keeping them safe and healthy for people as well so that we can all enjoy it," Koss added.

      But the partnership is about more than just the Great Lakes and the inland waters. A large part of their initiative is to educate the public and thwart emerging concerns, like climate change. "We're helping residents around the U.P. save on energy costs and doing simple energy efficiency installs and reducing millions of pounds of co2 from entering the air," Koss said. And you won't see the partnership taking it easy any time soon. They say an ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure, and it holds true when it comes to nature as well.