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Our Great Lakes Commons: A People's Plan to Protect the Great Lakes Forever

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Barlow, Maude
Date: 2011
Agency: The Council of Canadians, West Ottawa, ON
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7764
Sector: Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: North America
Subject(s): Great Lakes region
water management
environmental change
Abstract: "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. The Great Lakes Basin Commons would need to be protected by a legal and political framework based on Public Trust Doctrine, underpinning in law that the Great Lakes are central to the very existence of those people, plants and animals living on or near them and therefore must be protected for the common good from generation to generation. This means that the Lakes could not be appropriated or subordinated for private gain. It is also our determination that the Great Lakes will be designated as a Protected Bioregion, recognizing that while there are many political jurisdictions governing the Great Lakes Basin, it is, in fact, one integrated watershed and needs to be seen and governed as such."

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