You may not often think about the intersection of the Great Lakes and environmental law,
but Professor Melissa K. Scanlan does.
Scanlan is the Director of the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School and she recently published a paper exploring the need for and the feasibility of a hiking trail tracing the shoreline of all five Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
While writing this paper, Scanlan contacted me about the feasibility of establishing this trail. I was able to give her data and feedback on the accessibility of the over 2,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline I had hiked.
Giving people MORE access to the shoreline can only benefit our connection to these vast lakes and encourage conservation of these vital waters.
From the intro of the paper:
BLUEPRINT FOR THE GREAT LAKES TRAIL
by: Melissa K. Scanlan
The Great Lakes are vast yet vulnerable. There is a need to focus the public’s attention on the significance of the lakes for the region as a cohesive, binational whole. To address this need, build on existing water law, and engage the public, this Article provides a blueprint to establish a Great Lakes Trail on the shores of the Great Lakes. The Trail will link together 10,000 miles of coastline and provide the longest marked walking trail in the world. It will demarcate an already existing, yet largely unrecognized, public trust easement and engage the public with their common heritage in the lakeshore.
Read the full paper HERE.