OK, Michigan. OK, Pennsylvania. If Ohio can do it, you can.
The Ohio General Assembly's vote last week to ratify the Great Lakes Compact -- an international agreement which must be approved by all eight Great Lakes states and the Canadian province of Ontario before it can become law -- is an important step in protecting an important natural resource.
The lakes are everything from a highway to a playground to a source of food and water. They're threatened by pollution, low rainfall and the thirst of the Sun Belt for water. The compact is meant to address that.
Ohio's ratification was threatened, briefly, by a fight over property rights; State Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, wanted to change the agreement to guarantee protection of property rights along the lakeshore; critics argued that would mean re-voting the compact in all the legislatures that have passed it. He was eventually talked into a compromise, but the compact's backers said the agreement already protects property rights.
Maybe so. At any rate, Ohio's backed the plan.
And we'd argue the compact does in fact protect the property rights of lakeshore property owners by virtue of the fact it protects the lakes.
After all, what makes lakefront property worth owning? The lake, right?
And if the lake is rendered less than viable, what's your lakefront property worth? Not as much.
Ergo, the Great Lakes Compact helps protect property rights by protecting the lake.
We hope Michigan and Pennsylvania don't run into similar snags on their way to passing the compact.
The lakes are too important to lose.