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A US city has just obtained legal rights to a lake



This is what Lake Erie looked like during the water crisis on 4 August 201
4.
Photo: Getty

Crystal Jankowski entered the labor market during the 2014 water crisis in Toledo, Ohio. The 276,000 inhabitants of the city could not use their tap water for a weekend in August – no drinking, Baden nada . The water supplied by Lake Erie had become toxic due to the algae growth of the lake.

Jankowski, who was preparing to give birth to her daughter at nearby St. Luke's Hospital, had spent the last day with mild contractions. She knew that her moment would come, so she emphasized that she could not just take a shower.

"As a woman who has ten people in her hooha, you want to be clean," Jankowski told Earther. "So it was awful to say the least."

This event changed her life. And she did not let it end there.

"It's not just about changing the law, it's about changing our culture and our relationship with nature and the environment."

As a mother committed to community engagement, she worked with her Neighbors together to create a local environment group, Toledoaner for safe water. This week, they managed to pass a vote to develop the Lake Erie Bill of Rights Charter, which recognizes the lake's right to "exist, thrive, and evolve naturally," such as the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF). who have worked with the residents of Toledo to secure this special election. While similar laws on the recognition of ecosystem rights have been adopted in Colombia, New Zealand and India, this is the first of its kind in the United States.

The group "ugly shouted" after it had found the poll by 61 percent Tuesday, Jankowski said. These new rights, granted to Lake Erie, are intended to help protect it from the nitrogen and phosphorus effluent which mainly comes from the agricultural sector that drives algal blooms.

Lake Erie, however, suffers from most summers, its intensity varies. The flowers not only threaten drinking water; They harm the economy by dampening recreational fishing and tourism revenues. A flowering like 2014 could lead to a loss of $ 65 million for the local economy.

The problem has become so serious that even local breweries are alerted by algae bundles of green beer. Climate change is expected to worsen this flowering, as high temperatures not only affect this algae growth, but also the unpredictable weather patterns caused by climate change can increase rainfall in the region, allowing more runoff into the lake.

<img class = "lazyload" data-sizes = "auto" src = "https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s–08zjNFfT–/c_fill,f_auto , fl_progressive, g_center, h_77, pg_1, q_80, w_137 / bqzzl9szzipbyacxwumh.jpg "alt =" Preview of the content thumbnail [19659015] The water crisis of Lake Eries is so bad that this brewery puts algae in beer

TOLEDO, OHIO – The employees of the Maumee Bay Brewing Company swear that the brewery's 150-year-old …

Read Read [19659017] The so-called Rights of Nature movement is not without its critics, but it gives environmentalists and lobbyists one legal option to protect a natural body when environmental regulations fail, but Toledo is unusual in that its residents recognize these rights, and in the past such decisions have been made through a court judgment.

It is not clear how good this new change in court a is maintained, but the Drewes Farm Partnership, an agricultural holding in northwest Ohio, has already filed a complaint contesting the constitutionality of the decision on Wednesday at the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Tish O'Dell, the organizer of CELDF in Ohio, is not worried if the new change is up to legal challenges. She knows that laws do not reverse overnight.

"[This amendment is] not just to change the law, but also to change our culture and our relationship with nature and the environment," she told Earther.

The hope is that this change inspires other communities around Lake Erie – and other parts of the US that are concerned with their own water issues – to plan similar municipal election measures. Maybe this change will not survive in court, but others could meanwhile celebrate many locals. Maybe with an algae-inspired acidic double IPA in hand.


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