Maine Communities Fight Nestle Over Water, and Win! (audio)

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Should nature be able to take you to court?

By Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, Boston Globe

Last February, the town of Shapleigh, Maine, population 2,326, passed an unusual ordinance. Like nearby towns, Shapleigh sought to protect its aquifers from the Nestle Corporation, which draws heavily on the region for its Poland Spring bottled water. Some Maine towns had acquiesced, others had protested, and one was locked in a protracted legal battle.

Shapleigh tried something new – a move at once humble in its method and audacious in its ambition. At a town meeting, residents voted, 114-66, to endow all of the town’s natural assets with legal rights: “Natural communities and ecosystems possess inalienable and fundamental rights to exist, flourish and naturally evolve within the Town of Shapleigh.” It further decreed that any town resident had “standing” to seek relief for damages caused to nature – permitting, for example, a lawsuit on behalf of a stream.

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Waterville (ME) Opera House packed for World Premiere of "Tapped"

Over 250 people packed the Waterville (ME) Opera House for the World Premiere of “Tapped” on Sunday, July 12. Stephanie Soechtig’s debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottle water.

Grassroots organizations from Fryeburg, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Shapleigh and Newfield celebrated before the film with the Tapped production team.

Photos – All photos copyright V. Kelly Bellis; can be freely used with proper credit. High-resolution pictures are available upon request.

Local Water Activists Speak Out – Independent video

“Tapped” audience reactions – Independent video

      1. Interview with Stephanie Soechtig@http://www.radio4all.net/files/henhouse23
– WKHN radio, Keene, NH

News VideoWCSH-TV, Portland

ReviewLarry Grard, Kennebec Journal

“Tapped” movie websiteWatch segment about privatization

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Earth Jurisprudence: Legal Rights for Gaia

By Susan Meeker-Lowry, Culture Change

Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is. – Tao The King (Tao Te Ching), ch. 25

Have you noticed a shift in the dialog around climate change lately? There’s less talk of prevention, or even avoiding the worst of it, in favor of finding ways of adapting to the coming changes.

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Newfield Passes Ban On Large Scale Water Extraction

WCSH-TV Ch. 6, Mar.15, 2009

Story with video and comments

The town of Newfield is now the second in Maine to ban large-scale water extraction.

Saturday’s vote was 228 in favor of the new ordinance and 146 against. The vote is a reaction to interest from Poland Spring Water and its parent company, Nestle, in pumping water from an aquifer shared by Newfield and Shapleigh.

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