Toledo, Ohio, voters make history, adopting a charter amendment that recognizes the rights of Lake Erie! This is the first rights-based law in the United States that specifically acknowledges the rights of a distinct ecosystem, securing the Lake’s rights to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.
Since 2016, CELDF has partnered with Toledoans for Safe Water to recognize the rights of the Lake. This includes defending their democratic right to vote as numerous industry representatives and their allies have tried to block the initiative to protect the lake from the ballot.
Toledo residents overcame those challenges, culminating in this extraordinary win for Lake Erie and surrounding communities and ecosystems.
GROWING RIGHTS OF NATURE MOVEMENT
Globally, communities and governments are increasingly recognizing the rights of ecosystems.
Lake Erie now joins the growing numbers of other ecosystems with recognized rights, including:
- The Te Urewera forest and Whanganui River in New Zealand
- The Colombian Amazon
- The Páramo in Pisba, a high Andean ecosystem, in Colombia
- The Ganges and Yamuna Rivers in India
media coverage: lake erie bill of rights
Read our media release and check out the growing coverage of this historic event:
- The Daily Show: The Fight to Turn Lake Erie into a Person
- NPR: Should Rivers Have Same Legal Rights as Humans? A Growing Number of Voices Say Yes
- The Progressive: Toledo Residents Vote to Recognize Personhood for Lake Erie
- Earther: A U.S. City Just Granted Legal Rights to a Lake
- The Hill: Ohio city votes to give Lake Erie same legal rights as a person
- Vox: Lake Erie just won the same legal rights as people
- Mother Jones: Mother Jones: Holy, Toledo! This Ohio City Is Voting to Give Legal Rights to a Lake
- Le Monde: Residents of Toledo, Ohio Called to Give Lake Erie Legal Status for Survival
- CNN: An Ohio city will vote on whether Lake Erie has the same rights as a person
- The New York Times: Legal Rights for Lake Erie? Voters in Ohio City Will Decide
- The Guardian: Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie
rights of nature campaigns with celdf around the world
Rights of Nature proponents are working with CELDF to advance rights of the Salish Sea in Washington, the rights of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, rights of the Himalayas in Nepal, and other ecosystems around the world.
join the movement!
Learn more! Advance the Rights of Nature in your community, region, or state today. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured image: Lake Erie Sunset by Jen Goellnitz, Flickr Creative Commons