The Great Lakes

 

Like many of the world’s freshwater sources, the Great Lakes, located on the Canada-United States border, are under serious threat of over-extraction, multipoint pollution, impacts from climate change, invasive species and wetland loss. As the drinking source for more than 40 million people in both countries, the Great Lakes are a vital water resource for many.

Once thought to be immune from the water crisis that threatens other parts of the world, the Great Lakes are a source of increasing concern as residents watch their shorelines recede, their beaches close, and their fisheries decline. Added to this mounting ecological crisis are growing conflicts as some eye these precious waters for commercial bulk and bottled water export, mining, oil and gas exploration, private control of once public water services, and as an incentive to lure water-intensive industries to locate on them.

In order to protect the waters of the Great Lakes for future generations, we must establish a new narrative that recognizes the lakes a living commons, public trust and protected bioregion. The Blue Planet Project, with allied organizations, has started a broad outreach campaign to bring people and governments together not only to protect, but to plan for a better future for the Great Lakes waters.

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