Rights of Lake Erie Recognized in Historic Vote

Rights of Lake Erie Recognized in Historic Vote

Toledo, Ohio, voters make history, adopting a charter amendment that recognizes the rights of Lake Erie! This is the first rights-based law in the United States that specifically acknowledges the rights of a distinct ecosystem, securing the Lake’s rights to exist, flourish, and naturally evolve.

Since 2016, CELDF has partnered with Toledoans for Safe Water to recognize the rights of the Lake. This includes defending their democratic right to vote as numerous industry representatives and their allies have tried to block the Lake Erie Bill of Rights initiative from the ballot.

Toledo residents overcame those challenges, culminating in this extraordinary win for Lake Erie and surrounding communities and ecosystems.


Globally, communities and governments are increasingly recognizing the rights of ecosystems.

Lake Erie now joins the growing numbers of other ecosystems with recognized rights, including:

media coverage: lake erie bill of rights

Read our media release and check out the growing coverage of the Lake Erie Bill of Rights:

rights of nature campaigns with celdf around the world

Rights of Nature proponents are working with CELDF to advance rights of the Salish Sea in Washington, the rights of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, rights of the Himalayas in Nepal, and other ecosystems around the world.

join the movement!

Learn more! Advance the Rights of Nature in your community, region, or state today. Contact us at rightsofnature@celdf.org.

Featured image: Lake Erie Sunset by Jen Goellnitz, Flickr Creative Commons