We have a group of people strongly committed to the Rights of Nature, and in our case, the Rights of the Ohio River Watershed. We are CROW; Citizens for Rights of the Ohio River Watershed. We have spent many hours learning about the Right of Nature movement and how we can be involved in it. Tish O’Dell, members of CELDF, and others deeply committed to the Rights of Nature helped us in this learning process.

We are developing a Bill of Rights for the Ohio River, working extensively with Tish O’Dell and CELDF lawyers. It will be completed soon.

We are very aware that getting the Bill of Rights for the Ohio River passed will take a great deal of support. To this end we are currently focusing on educating the public. In advance of this past November City of Cincinnati Council election, we sent information to the primary candidates about the Rights of Nature. Ultimately, we are working for the support of our City Council for the Ohio River Bill of Rights. It is said that people need to hear things seven times to finally get on board – one down for City Council members, six to go.

We are working with individuals and local groups to further our message. In the spring of 2021, we hosted a conversation series on the Rights of Nature and the work CROW is pursuing. We partnered with Cincinnati World Cinema for a viewing and online conversation of the film “Invisible Hand”, which was attended by more than 100 people.

In May, we presented at the Midwest Sustainability Series. In the summer, we spoke to those in attendance at the Global Water Dances on the Ohio River near downtown Cincinnati. We tabled a booth at PaddleFest, where we spoke to interested visitors. We had the opportunity to record several “river stories” from some of those visitors. These and other accounts, both personal and public, are being shared to our Facebook page. Our Instagram and website are under development. 

We presented at the Pathways to Regeneration: Honoring Water conference held by Agraria in Yellow Springs, OH. The power point we’ve compiled throughout this education development process, and used for the first time at this conference, is now available for future presentations.

This will be particularly useful as we have set up six committees to further the education/outreach agenda. We have had a number of people approach us about helping out. We can now direct them to the committee list where they can choose where they would like to participate.

The committees are:

  • Environmental groups/organizations
  • Churches
  • Colleges/High Schools
  • Seniors
  • Events 
  • Social Media (Newsletter, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, our website)

Most recently ,we cosponsored an event with Rob Bilott, who sued DuPont over chemical pollution in Parkersburg, WVA and other cities along the Ohio River. His book, “Exposure”, details the ongoing 20-year legal battle. He hasn’t completely bought into the Rights of Nature, but believes it to be in close alignment with his work. His work points out the absolute necessity for our movement.

Please direct any interested parties in SW Ohio our way. Onward!

Jim Schenk

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