Everyone in the Great Lakes region should have healthy access to the lakes and clean water. But not everyone does.
Everyone should be able to safely enjoy and rely on all the benefits the lakes have to offer – from safe, affordable drinking water to swimming, boating and fishing. Yet too many people who live in Great Lakes communities cannot.
Communities that depend on the lakes should be heard and included in the decisions that affect the lakes and their community. Yet many are excluded from decision-making.
And, unfortunately, the costs of pollution often are not fairly shared. Environmental problems like water and air pollution, lead-tainted drinking water, unaffordable water and sewer system rates, and lack of access to beaches and shorelines fall most heavily on communities of color and low-income communities.
What is environmental justice?
Environmental justice seeks to address the systemic unfair distribution of pollution and repair the harm that it causes. It requires the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of the people most burdened by pollution and discrimination in the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.
The Alliance works to be an ally to the people and groups who are leading efforts to advance environmental justice at the local, state, and federal levels.