The Ontario Shorewalk Association joins the call for a “Right of Passage”, or public walking rights, on our Great Lakes Shoreline. This echoes similar efforts emerging elsewhere in the Lakes bio-region and is congruent with our understanding of these waters as a commons: owned by no one, cared for by all.
The current conversation this week about the War on Poverty is long overdue; especially welcome is a noisy clamor to raise the minimum wage. At the same time, families’ budgets are burdened by the increase in basic living expenses.. An important front in the war on poverty is shrinking those expenses. Let’s take a look at water.
This paper is intended to serve as a background, a call to understanding and a call to action on an exciting new proposal to designate the Great Lakes and its tributary waters as a lived Commons, to be shared, protected, carefully managed and enjoyed by all who live around them.
WISCONSIN has been an environmental leader since 1910, when the state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment promoting forest and water conservation. Decades later, pioneering local environmentalists like Aldo Leopold and Senator Gaylord Nelson, who founded Earth Day in 1970, helped forge the nation’s ecological conscience. But now, after the recent passage of a bill that would allow for the construction of what could be the world’s largest open-pit iron ore mine, Wisconsin’s admirable history of environmental stewardship is under attack.
From October 18 to 21, about seven thousand young people gathered in Pittsburgh for Power Shift, a four-day conference for young environmental and social activists. While most were members of campus environmental organizations, a few were activists working on social and environmental justice issues in the places they call home—fighting King Coal in Appalachia, growing gardens in Detroit, and lobbying for racial justice in Florida. For these youth, the fight is urgent and immediate.
First, water is a human right and must be more equitably shared. The United Nations has recognized that drinking water and sanitation are fundamental rights and that governments have obligations not only to supply these services to their people but also to prevent harm to source water.
Did you know that the human lungs are made of 90 percent water? Did you know that chemicals illegal in North America are now making their way to the Great Lakes from China? Did you know that, if it were a country, the Great Lakes would be the second-largest economic unit on Earth?
As governments approve tar sands oil and fracking projects around the Great Lakes, the Council of Canadians warns that these extreme energy projects are putting the Great Lakes in peril. Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow outlines the web of pipelines, refineries and oil shipments that threaten the Lakes in her new report released today entitled,
On Saturday, March 8 the Milwaukee Water Commons held its first-ever Leadership Training. Over twenty water leaders from across our city will help shape Milwaukee’s water future and awaken our connections to water in six neighborhoods.
A year and a half ago, On The Commons brought 70 people together from around the Great Lakes bioregion to explore how a commons approach might help us create a life giving future for our Lakes. Since then, the Great Lakes Commons has continued to come to life in many ways, with a growing network of people taking up this emerging initiative and finding ways to contribute.