Can Cities Grant Nature the Right to Exist, and Thrive?

From preventing toxic algae blooms to banning aerial pesticide spraying, the fight for local control over environmental decisions elevates the rights of nature as a key step in the larger community rights movement.

The five Great Lakes and their watershed make up the largest source of surface fresh water on Earth. Tens of millions of people rely on them as a source for drinking water — a natural resource living beings can’t survive without. 

And yet, in the wake of devastating toxic algae blooms (among other crises), the risk is growing that the Great Lakes will become so polluted, so toxic, that plant, animal, and marine life might no longer be able to rely on the lakes as a freshwater source. Algae blooms, attributed to nutrient runoff in agriculture, already affect half a million people in the greater Toledo area, who, in 2014, spent days without fresh water to cook, drink or wash clothes.

Learn more at NEXTCITY.

Kate McCartyenvironment, water