Join Us in Securing
the Rights of Nature
for the Estuary

Azhe-mino-waankamitoon
Let’s return the water
to its original pristine condition!

Image by Deanna Erickson

This is the St. Louis River Estuary:

A vital life-support system for thousands of species, including our own. This river is the largest U.S. tributary of Lake Superior, which holds 10% of the Earth’s fresh surface water and flows into all of the Great Lakes. 

For nearly 11,000 years, the Estuary has been home to human inhabitants, providing fresh water, food, fiber, fuel, transportation, and shelter. Today, this place is loved by many, fostering community, supporting business and trade, and inspiring local art, recreation, and connection with nature. It is indeed a sacred place,

Over the last 150 years, however, accelerated human activity has brought significant change. Too often, this change has been harmful – for ourselves, and for the Estuary as a whole.

We have destroyed wetland habitats which filter waste from water. We have over-harvested resources, devastating fish and tree populations. We have destabilized natural cycles so that we can no longer safely eat the fish or swim in the water. Gradually, we have come to recognize our vulnerable interdependence with the Estuary ecosystem. Today, we understand that because of our power to harm, it is our unique human responsibility to defend this ecosystem, to care for this place, for the sake of all of life and future generations.

We Envision...

We envision an Estuary where the natural and human world thrive. We invite all concerned citizens to come together to recognize that we are not separate from the Earth, that in the face of climate change, declining habitat and biodiversity, and increasing biological and chemical pollution, we need to transform how we relate to nature.

Securing legal Rights for Nature would transform that relationship. Rights for nature would recognize that ecosystems – air, rock, soil, water, plants, animals, microorganisms and all of their relationships – have inherent rights just as humans have fundamental rights. And people would have the authority to enforce these rights on behalf of ecosystems.

Our Goals

Connect our community to the sacredness of water and all life

Secure legal rights of nature for the St. Louis River Estuary, by passing an amendment to the Duluth City Charter in November 2022

Strengthen the resilience of our estuary and all its inhabitants

Our Campaign

We invite YOU to join us in caring for this sacred place. We can begin this critical transformation of our relationship to the natural world here, in our own backyard, by working to pass an amendment to our Duluth city charter. In 2022, vote to recognize the Estuary’s inherent right to exist, thrive, regenerate, evolve, and be restored. Sign up here to stay informed and learn about opportunities to get involved.

Join the movement

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People for the Estuary

Get Involved

This is a community effort to support the estuary’s right to flourish, thrive and regenerate. Please sign up here to stay informed and learn about opportunities to get involved.

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Map of Rights of Nature and Earth Law Around the World

by Addison Luck for the Earth Law Center