Water-Related News

Movement grows in Florida to grant legal rights to rivers

Efforts in five Florida counties could result in legally enforceable rights for rivers, as a way to save drinking water and ecosystems.

According to a release from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and Speak Up Wekiva on Wednesday, grassroots groups in Alachua, Orange, Lee, Brevard, and Osceola counties are advancing county-wide laws to recognize the legally enforceable rights of the Santa Fe River, Wekiva River, Econlockhatchee River, Caloosahatchee River, Indian River Lagoon and the Kissimmee River.

The laws are being proposed in each county through the citizens’ ballot initiative process or through county charter review commissions. In addition to "Rights of Nature," the proposed laws would also recognize rights of local residents to a healthy environment and clean water. Business entities and governments would be prohibited from violating these rights.