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News and updates from around the lakes...
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Summer is well underway and we hope you are out enjoying your home waters. Below is a collection of updates and upcoming events/projects we'd love you to be a part of. Please share widely and get in touch if you're involved in a water commons project around the Great Lakes that you'd like to share!

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Charter Anniversary


It's been a year since we launched the Great Lakes Commons Charter as an invitation to spark inclusive public discussion in the future of the Lakes.

The Charter continues to be a participatory effort to build community engagement, agreement, and shared responsibility for the water. Have you read the Charter Declaration recently? Have you considered how you will bring the declaration to life? 

This summer we are hosting a series of Charter Community Cafésstarting this Thursday, July 16th – to share stories and hear from others of how Charter supporters are activating the Great Lakes Commons Charter in their lives, projects, and passions around, on, and in the lakes. 


Read more here and RSVP

Charter Bearers


There are many artists working with water, this summer we are particularly excited about two projects that are taking the ideas of the GLC Charter around the lakes and asking questions about our connection and care for these waters. Both projects are already traveling the lakes so check out their schedules to see when they might be near you!

Tied by Water, by Moheb Soliman. A four month journey tracing the entire Great Lakes coastline exploring the place of nature and the sublime in modernity and identity. In each place Moheb pauses, he's been leading small excursions "Feeled trips" and creating an on-going poem written into/erased by the shoreline. 

Surrounding Water, by Ben Weaver. A three-week circumnavigation of Lake Superior by bicycle with a vision to unify communities through song, discussion, and storytelling. 

Toronto Water Commons


Earlier this summer, a group of water commoners in Toronto, held a Water Gifts Walk to give back to the rivers and springs that nourish our city and our lakes. Our event was part of 100in1day, a city-wide event in which individuals across the city co-create 'urban interventions' to re-make the city into a better place. Read more about the walk on our blog
We Are A Water City

Milwaukee Water Commons


In Milwaukee, we've been busy planning and hosting the Water City 3.0 meeting that was held last month. Through a highly participatory process involving over 200 people, we've collaboratively identified eight water goals – from children receiving water education to creative signage for finding water recreation activities. Read more updates here and check out MWC's new video. 

We're also planning our annual We Are Water, a community-wide beachfront celebration on August 9th – come join us!

Water Walks


Earlier this summer, a group of dedicated water walkers joined Sharon Day and Kathy Skerrit for a Cuyahoga River Water Walk, a four day walk to the mouth of Lake Eerie on behalf of the river that has been seminal in the creation of the Enivronmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act. Read more about the walk and the protocols at Bright Water Rising. A huge thank you and congratulations to all the water walkers along the Cuyahoga!

Water walkers in this year's Sacred Water Walk are walking from Matane, Quebec on the St.Lawrence to Madeline Island in Wisconsin to raise awareness of the threat of oil spills on the Great Lakes bioregion. We recently completed a new video 
– that you helped make happen! – about Josephine Mandamin and the water walks. Please share with your networks and, if you live along the walk route, please consider joining the water walkers. More information about the route and frequent updates here

Commons Connection


At the end of May, Paul Baines, one of our animators, held a conversation with the Canadian Freshwater Alliance about using a commons framework in water advocacy work. Do we limit deeper and broader public engagement when we talk about water simply as a resource or chemical compound? Listen to the interview here and read more about the ideas in our blog post
A reminder to send us your amazing photos of water and summer – we always like to update our website with photos and/or blog posts from Great Lakes Commoners. Many thanks.
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