The battle for the rights of nature heats up in the Great Lakes

The battle for the rights of nature heats up in the Great Lakes

Photo: Algae floats on the surface of Lake Erie’s Maumee Bay in Oregon, Ohio, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. (AP/Paul Sancya)

In February, the voters of Toledo, Ohio, passed a ballot initiative that gives Lake Erie and those who rely on the lake’s ecosystem a bill of rights. The idea is to protect and preserve the ecosystem so that the life that depends on it — humans included — can

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Dirtiest week for water in EPA history

Photo: Dirtiest week for water in EPA history

Photo: © Getty Images

Before the Clean Water Act was passed in 1972, our nation’s waters were in trouble. Lake Erie was virtually dead, the Cuyahoga River caught on fire, and the Androscoggin River in Maine was so polluted it peeled paint on nearby buildings. Many of America’s waters had become little more than lifeless, open sewers.

Nobody wants to return to the bad old days of polluted, dirty rivers. … [more…]

NOAA and partners team up to prevent future Great Lakes drinking water crisis

NOAA and partners team up to prevent future Great Lakes drinking water crisis

Video of Preventing a Great Lakes Drinking Water Crisis

A new video SMART BUOYS: Preventing a Great Lakes Drinking Water Crisis released by Ocean Conservancy describes how NOAA forecast models provide advance warnings to Lake Erie drinking water plant managers to avoid shutdowns due to poor water quality.

An inter-agency team of public and private sector partners, working with the Cleveland Water Department, are addressing drinking water safety for oxygen … [more…]

In ‘Historic Vote,’ Ohio City Residents Grant Lake Erie Legal Rights of a Person

photo: Lake Erie and the Ohio shoreline

“What Toledo voters and other places working on rights of nature are hoping is to not only change laws but to change culture.”

Tired of receiving notices warning that their drinking water may have been compromised and having little recourse to fight corporate polluters, voters in Toledo, Ohio on Tuesday approved a measure granting Lake Erie some of the same legal rights as a human being.

Sixty-one percent of voters … [more…]

Water-Filter Pitchers Not Equally Effective at Removing Microcystins

Water-Filter Pitchers Not Equally Effective at Removing Microcystins

Photo: Dr. Chaffin in the lab. (Credit: Ohio Sea Grant, Stone Laboratory, https://ohioseagrant.osu.edu/news/2018/7a1my/water-quality-safe.)

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the toxins they produce, threaten drinking water safety worldwide, and here in the US, we are becoming more aware of the issue as HABs are reported across the country. Microcystins, the most common toxins arising from HABs, can put animals and humans at risk. Human reactions to microcystins include mild skin rash,

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