Lake Erie Bill of Rights

Lake Erie Bill of Rights: A grassroots-initiative amendment to Toledo’s City Charter.

The first Rights of Nature law in the USA to protect an entire ecosystem, our most important natural feature here in Northeast Ohio. Lake Erie forms the majority of Ohio‘s northern border. We share Lake Erie with Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and with Canada.

Lake Erie Bill of Rights: “No permit, license, privilege, charter or other authorization issued to a corporation, by any state or federal entity … (violating) this law… shall be deemed valid within … Toledo.”

“Other parts of the world are doing this, and it’s working,” – Tish O’Dell, Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Lake Erie, Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls: Lake Erie flows into Lake Superior on its way to the Atlantic Ocean

Some history: Lake Erie used to be heavily polluted, but generally the situation has improved in recent decades. In 12014, Lake Erie became so contaminated from a harmful algal bloom that it was not safe to drink or even bathe. Agricultural runoff makes Lake Erie‘s western basin particularly susceptible to these sorts of events. Local communities were left with a water crisis that lasted several days.

Lake Erie Bill of Rights: establishes irrevocable rights for the Lake Erie Ecosystem to exist, flourish and naturally evolve, a right to a healthy environment for the residents of Toledo, and which elevates the rights of the community and its natural environment over powers claimed by certain corporations.

Every city and village on Lake Erie should adopt similar amendments and/or legislation, and the state of Ohio should pass an amendment to the Ohio Constitution.

Lake Erie, Madison Ohio
Lake Erie’s south shore in Madison, Ohio
[Laura Johnston –]
[Thomas Suddes – Columbus Dispatch]
[Lake Erie]