Welcome to the Great Lakes Commons Blog. This blog will track the progress of the Great Lakes Commons Initiative, which seeks to reorient water governance and ensure a healthy future for the water, the ecosystem, and communities surrounding the Great Lakes.
Ask almost anyone who lives in the Great Lakes region and they will tell you how connected they feel to these vast iconic bodies of water. And yet our Lakes are endangered – put at risk by human choices and narrow economic interests. The current governance of the Great Lakes reflects the dominant economic system, which is biased toward commercial and private interests at the expense of ecological and human well-being.
The Great Lakes Commons Initiative arose out of an understanding that fundamental change was needed if we want to create a sustaining future for our Great Lakes. We face an urgent choice—we can continue on the current path toward depletion and degradation, or we can make a dramatic change in our relationship to this living and life-giving ecosystem.
One way to achieve this goal is the establishment of a Great Lakes Charter, a new social contract guiding the ways that communities treat our shared resource. A collaboration amongst Indigenous communities, inner city groups, local community organizers, major academic and advocacy organizations, lawmakers and more in both Canada and the United States, this Charter can help develop a new shared cultural water ethic and use legal leverage to form policy.
This blog will provide updates on this Initiative and feature stories about individuals and groups working to ensure a healthy future for the Lakes. Check back often, subscribe to updates and find us on Facebook and Twitter!