TOLEDO, Ohio, April 16, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Community members in Toledo, Ohio do not want to live without access to clean water ever again. In 2014, their water was so polluted with algae caused by phosphorus runoff, it was not safe to even touch for three days.
And so, Toledo residents did what their local and state representatives would not: They determined to protect the Great Lake Erie by recognizing in law the Lake's rights to exist, flourish, and evolve. They prohibited any activity by a corporation or government that would violate those rights. How? By adopting the Lake Erie Bill of Rights with 61% of the vote. And they did it despite being outspent by BP Corporation based in Houston, Texas, by 50:1.
The Ohio Farm Bureau – long known to be comprised of corporate agriculture representatives – wasted no time in backing a lawsuit to quash the will of the people and rights of Lake Erie. Twelve hours after Toledo citizens adopted the measure, they filed to overturn it.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) is representing Lake Erie and Toledo residents in their joint request to participate as full parties in the lawsuit. While City representatives refuse to stand up to big business, the people of Toledo and Lake Erie are doing just that – asserting their rights and fighting for what's right.
Toledo resident Crystal Jankowski stated, "Lake Erie is an ecosystem upon which we are inextricably connected. The Lake has the right to exist, flourish, and evolve. While our laws, until now, have treated Lake Erie as an object to be exploited, we recognize that the Lake is a living entity, and we will defend the Lake's rights. Our lives depend upon it."
Help us defend the Lake Erie Bill of Rights on behalf of Lake Erie and Toledo community members. Help us advance Rights of Nature across the U.S. Join us and our partners at CrowdJustice as we raise the funds necessary to protect Lake Erie and grow the Rights of Nature movement!
Donate here: www.crowdjustice.com/case/defending-lake-erie. Thank you!
Tish O'Dell, Ohio Community Organizer
SOURCE Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund