Please help keep this Site Going

Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Uncategorized

Why Toledo Just Gave Legal Rights to Lake Erie

 A wake full of green algae just a few hundred feet from the city of Toledo's Water Intake on Lake Erie. (Credit: Ty Wright / For The Washington Post via Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.

Lake Erie provides drinking water for 11 million people, and an unusual tactic to protect it was just adopted in Toledo, Ohio:  On Tuesday, Toledoans passed the “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” in a special election, with 61 percent voting yes on a ballot measure that could allow citizens to sue polluters on behalf of the lake.

“This is the first in the nation in terms of rights-of-nature law being adopted by a municipality over a certain ecosystem, and I think it’s the beginning of more things to come in that area,” said Thomas Linzey, executive director and chief legal counsel for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which helped local activists draft the bill.

The ballot measure will amend the city’s charter to establish that Lake Erie has the right to “exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.”  The goal of giving the lake legal rights, Linzey said, is for activists to be able to do “a survey of who’s the biggest polluters into the lake” and then bring lawsuits “to stop that pollution,” he said.

Runoff pollution is a major cause of Lake Erie’s algae blooms, which can make water toxic to fish, wildlife, and people.  This kind of pollution occurs “when rainfall washes fertilizer and manure spread on large farm fields into streams that flow into Lake Erie,” according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

Read more at Why Toledo Just Gave Legal Rights to Lake Erie

Please help keep this Site Going