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Welcome to the School of Commoning!

The School of Commoning is a growing worldwide community of people participating in the global and local commons. We support the developing commons movement, as well as interested organizations and individuals, with well-organized knowledge resources and educational programs on commoning and the commons.

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  • On the homepage, click on "If you are new to the site", which will take you to a page of useful information about the site, which we compiled especially for new members. 
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Stopping the Spread of Asian Carp: An Action Agenda for Congress

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:10

The Great Lakes Commission calls on Congress and the Administration to take immediate action to keep Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes. While the regional response has been strong, additional resources and authorizations are needed to enable federal agencies to move aggressively to halt the spread of the carp. It is not too late to prevent this ecological and economic catastrophe!

Priorities for Great Lakes Restoration and Economic Revitalization

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:08

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative targets science-based solutions to urgent problems facing the Great Lakes, like shutting the door on invasive species; cleaning up toxic sediments; stopping polluted runoff; preventing beach contamination; restoring degraded wetlands; and protecting fish and wildlife resources.

The Great Lakes Compact

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:06

Just as even a large bank account can be depleted by overspending, the Great Lakes can be depleted if more water leaves than enters them. However, if the water “bank account” is kept in balance, the Great Lakes—and the diverse ecosystem and large regional economy they support—can be sustained. The Great Lakes Compact* is an unprecedented, multistate agreement aimed at protecting the Great Lakes from “overspending.”

Impacts on Water: Our Regions Vital Resource

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:03

The Great Lakes basin contains 20 percent of Earth’s surface fresh water. A rapidly changing climate will alter water availability and quality, not only in the Great Lakes but also in the region’s groundwater and in the hundreds of thousands of smaller lakes, wetlands and streams that dot or flow across the area.

Invasive Species in the Great Lakes: Costing Us Our Future

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 01:00

Preliminary research suggests that the annual cost to the Great Lakes region from invasive species introduced by shipping may be upwards of $200 million dollars a year because invasions limit the ability of the natural ecosystem to support fisheries, raw water uses, and wildlife watching.

Trends in Water Privatization (Fact Sheet)

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 00:51

The Post-Recession Economy and the Fight for Public Water in the United States. A new wave of water privatization formed in the wake of the recent financial crisis. With municipal budgets in the red, various cities and towns across the country considered auctioning off their water and sewer systems to generate funds. But the sale or lease of water assets is not a smart way to balance budgets. Privatization could further weaken public finances, jeopardize water resources, and saddle generations of consumers with debt.

Priceless: The Market Myth of Water Pricing Reform (Fact Sheet)

on Wed, 04/13/2011 - 00:47

In many regions across the United States, rising water demand is straining available supplies. In theory, increasing water prices to drive down consumption appears to be a neat and easy solution, but it alone is no panacea for our country’s water management challenges. Communities need effective strategies to promote sustainable water use, encourage conservation and renewour valuable water infrastructure.

Is it an enterprise? Is it a commons?

on Tue, 04/12/2011 - 22:45

It is a commons-inspired, community-owned enterprise. 

Check it out and let us know what you think of it.

Jobs Related to the Great Lakes

on Tue, 04/12/2011 - 00:29

Brief overview of the jobs related to the Great Lakes by state and by industry.

Discovering and inventing the commons as a way of life

on Sun, 02/13/2011 - 20:44


Julie Ristau is the Co-director of On The Commons and part of the organization’s leadership team that works to apply commons-based approaches to real-world problems.