Sample Municipal Resolution: Protect the Great Lakes


Help pass a municipal resolution recognizing the Great Lakes as a commons in your community

Going to your local city or town council and getting a resolution passed represents grassroots democracy and community involvement at its best. It gives ordinary people an opportunity to share information about pressing issues, and allows them to shape local public policy.

You can help protect the future of the Great Lakes by raising awareness locally about the current dangers these waters face. By visiting your local municipal or town council and asking elected representatives to pass a resolution that recognizes the importance of the Great Lakes as a source of drinking water and an essential part of our ecosystem, you will help build public awareness and support for declaring the Great Lakes a commons, a public trust and a protected bioregion.

WHEREAS the Great Lakes waters are vital to our shared ecosystem;

AND WHEREAS the Great Lakes waters provide life and livelihood to more than 40 million people along their shores;

AND WHEREAS pollution from industrial and agricultural sources, sewage and storm water run-off, climate change, massive water withdrawals, diversions and exports, groundwater contamination, invasive species, and wetlands destruction are abusing and threatening the health and future of the Great Lakes waters;

AND WHEREAS all levels of government have a responsibility to protect the Great Lakes waters for all people;

AND WHEREAS the Great Lakes and their tributaries are an integrated watershed and must be recognized and treated as such;

AND WHEREAS the ancient tradition of the commons, mirroring the beliefs of Indigenous peoples, asserts that no one owns water – it is a common heritage that belongs to the Earth, other species and future generations;

AND WHEREAS the United Nations has declared the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation”;

AND WHEREAS human and community needs for water should take precedence over corporate and industrial uses, particularly when these corporate uses pollute and degrade our shared water resources;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that [name of municipality/township] recognizes the Great Lakes as a shared commons whose waters must be protected, conserved and responsibly shared by all, and held in public trust for all time;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that [name of municipality/township] will provide good water stewardship of the Great Lakes’ waters and will refrain from actions that harm, pollute or degrade them;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the [City/Township] Clerk will write a letter to the Ontario government conveying the content of this resolution and requesting additional provincial support in the form of increased funding and legislative protections for the Great Lakes waters.