(ONN) – A community on Lake Erie in northwest Ohio will go to the polls to vote on a first-of-its-kind measure that would better protect the body of water.
The ‘Lake Erie Bill of Rights’ proposes the world’s 11th largest body of water be given rights as an ecosystem that citizens would be legally entitled to defend.
The Toledo Blade reports that the citizen-led initiative has sparked controversy in Toledo, pitting residents fed up with contaminated water against farmers that make up the backbone of the region’s economy.
Lake Erie has long been a site of environmental concern – at one point, being so polluted it was declared “dead.”
In 2014, more than 100 people got sick due to a toxic algal bloom in the lake, which was caused by agricultural runoff.