Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of For Love of Water (FLOW), discusses the mission of FLOW to advance the public trust doctrine: the basic fundamental notion that public resources, such as water, belong to and are shared by the public.
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Announcer: This is a Watershed Moment, protecting water resources and building sustainable communities, brought to you by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Grand Rapids Community Media Center.
Amy Rotter: On today’s episode, we hear from Liz Kirkwood, Executive Director of FLOW, “For Love of Water.”
Liz Kirkwood: FLOW is really unique group here in the Great Lakes. It’s the only public trust policy center and educational group that is addressing the systemic threats in the Great Lakes. What that means is we are trying to advance the public trust doctrine, which is the basic, fundamental notion that public resources, like the waters, belong to, and are shared by, the public. And, it’s the duty of the state to protect the waters for the citizens and ensure that the waters themselves are not impaired. They also have a duty to ensure that protected public uses such as navigation, fishing, commerce, swimming, and ecological values are protected as well.
The public trust is an ancient doctrine that goes back to the Roman times, but it really pulls at all of our heartstrings, it’s that inherent sense that water cannot be privately owned, and it belongs to all of us. And that is a very important public right that we all have and it’s very empowering for citizens and governments and leaders to exercise as we face greater scarcity of waters and greater competition for those uses.
Please contact us at www.flowforwater.org.
Announcer: This has been a Watershed Moment, a production of West Michigan Environmental Action Council and Grand Rapids Community Media Center. Learn more about today’s topic at www.watershedmoment.info