The Earth's waterS
Earth Law Center works broadly to promote the rights of ecosystems and species to exist, thrive, and evolve together. ELC places a special focus on the rights of rivers to flow with clean water, the rights of fish to swim and enjoy suitable habitat, and the rights of marine ecosystems and species to be healthy.
Under California law, as in a number of other areas of the world, humans have “rights” in law to withdraw water from waterways. However, the waterways themselves have no legal rights to the water they need to survive and thrive. ELC works to identify the problem of low flow and advocate for “water rights for waterways” in law. Learn more.
If we are to effectively implement rights-based laws for nature, we must work to understand what “healthy” natural systems look like. We too often define nature’s health as it pertains to human desires. ELC instead seeks to understand nature’s health from the perspective of nature’s own well-being, which itself is tied directly to human flourishing. We start to answer this question with the ocean, the source of life. Learn more.