"New law will allow people of Toledo to act as legal guardians for Lake Erie, and polluters could be sued to pay for cleanup costs"
"When they first started talking about doing something about the algae blooms in Lake Erie, which had made the once pristine water green and slimy and unhealthy from agricultural phosphorous runoff, people in Toledo, Ohio didn’t really know what to do. “Sometimes it was almost like all of us were at a funeral and we felt we had just seen the lake die,” said Tish O’Dell, a community organizer who specializes in environmental issues.
But this week, more than four years after the devastating algae bloom in 2014 that cut off drinking water for 500,000 people, Toledo voters passed the Lake Erie Bill of Rights, a unique charter amendment that establishes the huge lake as a person and grants it the legal rights that a human being or corporation would have.
The final results weren’t even close, as it passed by a 61% to 39% margin."