Great Lakes Commons

The Great Lakes Commons is a grassroots effort to establish the Great Lakes as a thriving, living commons—shared waters that we all take care of and protect in perpetuity.
Frozen Lake in January Sunset
Who We Are
We are a bioregional initiative united around the need to protect the Great Lakes as a shared and sacred commons. We've been around in various forms since 2010 and currently have 2 staff: Luke Evans and Paul Baines. See our "Who We Are" page on our website.
What We Do
We unify and build leadership through our Great Lakes Commons Charter and also have a set of other organizing, story sharing, and community building tools. We host online events across the basin, support a collaborative knowledge map, and collaborate with communities and campaigns on water issues and ethics.
Why It Matters
Water advocacy needs to not only be about water quality, but the quality of our relationship to water. Our initiative focuses on that relationship and related governance and ethical frameworks. We are collaborative by design and align easily with people: doing sacred water walks, fighting oil pipeline projects, challenging bottled water permits, reducing all forms of pollution (including microplastics), resisting the burial of nuclear waste in the basin, and providing alternatives in water leadership at the local and regional level.
1845 N Farwell Ave
Suite 100
Milwaukee, WI 53202
May 1, 2017
Navigate to the original article to listen to the 3 original podcasts by Ben Weaver. 
April 12, 2017
Each water protector brings their own set of knowledge, skills, and teachings to their effort. They also choose different strategies, tools, and examples for making a positive difference. But how do we measure our impact?
April 5, 2017
During the past few decades, water threats have been met with various interest-groups who mitigate short-term damage within their orphaned political and cultural boundaries.
March 9, 2017
On March 2, 2017 GLC hosted a conversation to showcase and workshop some of the new resources for water commoning in the Great Lakes. We highlighted several tools and discussed how they can lead to better water protection in our Great Lakes communities.
February 14, 2017
when the wind blows from north to south i wish for better words to line my mouth to keep the birds flying, the fish swimming for Anishnaabek everywhere to keep winning
February 3, 2017
From the shores of Lakes Ontario, Michigan, and Simcoe about 10 GLC supporters came together to share experiences of visiting and learning about the Dakota Nation, the Standing Rock Tribe, and the water protector camps. You can listen to our discussion too.
January 24, 2017
Paul Baines from Great Lakes Commons opened with the general shift from teaching about water to teaching with water and making the rules that currently govern water more clear.
January 11, 2017
Children of the Wild was in western Massachusetts at the time, training for The Wastelands, still unaware that around the corner victory was waiting for the Mass resistance to Kinder Morgan’s Northeast Energy Direct (NED) Pipeline.
December 28, 2016
Over 70,000 Milwaukee homes and buildings may have unsafe levels of lead in their drinking water. The water coming out of the treatment plant is safe, but these homes have lead water laterals and pipes.
December 20, 2016
The complexity of the issue commands a discussion that touches on the many interrelated subjects that influence how we, as a society, make decisions about water. These topics range from water law and Indigenous Rights, to issues of water quality and water permitting.
March 20, 2016
As water protectors we often talk of water rights and water responsibilities. These words go hand-in-hand like peace and justice, but let's decode what the differences are and the impacts each has on social movements and water care.
March 1, 2016
Get the latest information on upcoming events as well as news in the Great Lakes Commons newsletter! This issue includes the following stories:
December 21, 2015
Our 2015 series of talking across shorelines with supporters of the Great Lakes Commons Charter has ended. More on our 2016 plans below.
November 22, 2015
Get the latest information on upcoming events as well as news in the Great Lakes Commons newsletter! This issue includes the following stories: Upcoming Events Requets Journeys and more! Check out the newsletter at the link below:
November 22, 2015
November 19th marked the our 4th Commons Charter online event -- a bioregional meetup for supporters to share why this Charter is vital and how we (as individuals and as a group) could awaken this commons agreement across the various shorelines.
September 24, 2015
Keeping the spirit of community alive across the Great Lakes has its challenges. But it's always rejuvenating to talk with Charter Supporters on why they are a commoner.
There are currently no upcoming events for this member.
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