Toledo voters establish 'bill of rights' for Lake Erie as part of effort to clean up water

Toledo voters establish ‘bill of rights’ for Lake Erie as part of effort to clean up water

The State
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[Aleteia] Lake Erie means many things to many people: a source of livelihood and recreation for folks working and living along its shores; one of the five Great Lakes that generations of school children remembered the names of by thinking of their initials, H.O.M.E.S.; the source of the water that passes through Niagara Falls and the nearby hydroelectric dams that feed energy to parts of Canada and the U.S.

VIDEO: [Nature’s Rights] Young Europeans speak about why they see Nature’s rights as the next big rights movement, what it means for them on a personal level and why they volunteer for the charity Nature’s Rights. [Oct. 31, 2018]


Now, residents of Toledo, Ohio, have voted to give Lake Erie a new meaning: it is a person.

In a special election February 26, Toledoans approved a “Lake Erie Bill of Rights” referendum by a 61-39 margin. The ballot measure calls for Toledo’s city charter to be amended in such a way that it declares Lake Erie has a right to carry a smaller environmental burden.

The referendum does not actually say that the lake is now a person. But only persons have rights.

“The failing health of Lake Erie, the world’s 11th largest lake, is at the heart of one of the most unusual questions to appear on an American ballot,” the New York Times wrote prior to the vote. “Should a body of water be given rights normally associated with those granted to a person?”

Matt Hickman, at a site called Mother Nature Network explained the situation:

This article continues at [Aleteia] Toledo residents grant Lake Erie ‘personhoood’

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