A healthy and strong community has no need for walls on its borders. Rather, borders should be a place of cooperation and peace for people and the natural environment. A new book, Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship, offers a collection of essays about our northern border over time and across the length of the continent. Edited by Lynne Heasley and Daniel Macfarlane, the book has contributions from writers and scholars in diverse fields and explores regions from the Northwest Passage to the Salish Sea to the Eastern Seaboard.
I was honored to contribute the opening chapter to this collection, “A Citizen’s Legal Primer on the Boundary Waters Treaty, International Joint Commission, and Great Lakes Water Management,” co-authored with my former student Peter Starr. The chapter provides a legal perspective on the history of Canadian-American cooperative agreements and Great Lakes policies.
But it’s not all wonky reading. The book’s final part, “Reflections on the Water,” offers personal short perspectives on our connection to water. My contribution, “Leading Waters,” was my attempt to explain where I’m from and where I’m going and the waters I’ve loved along the way. It was a treat to have this contribution edited and introduced by author Jerry Dennis, one of the most beautiful nature writers at work today. (Jerry is best known for his book The Living Great Lakes, which won numerous awards, but his 30-year-old guidebook, Canoeing Michigan Rivers, first introduced me to the water wonders of this state.)
Border Flows: A Century of the Canadian-American Water Relationship is published by the University of Calgary Press as an open-access work under a Creative Commons license, so you can download it for free.
Update: Border Flows was reviewed in the Literary Review of Canada: "The Line Aquatic - Counternarratives of the Much-Mythologized Waters at our Border" by Heather Menzies.