Activists Fight Line 3 Oil Pipeline at Duluth’s 3rd Annual Water is Life Festival

Honor the Earth puts on Duluth's 3rd annual Water is Life Festival at Bayfront Park

DULUTH, Minn.- As one festival at Bayfront clears, another one moves in. The ‘Water is Life’ festival invited Northlanders to celebrate the Earth right on the shores of Lake Superior.

Festival goers at Duluth’s 3rd annual Water is Life event say it was the perfect way to enjoy what nature has to offer, but they also took that time to speak up, call out the things they say are destroying the land and rally people to protect it in any way possible.

“Duluth is this city that has the potential to do the coolest of things. Like not only be beautiful, but be a lake which honors the water and be city that does things like turns green,” Honor the Earth executive director Wanona LaDuke said.

LaDuke says this year’s festival had a small crowd, but they were mighty because they were working together to protect the Earth’s water

“All of us who work together, we make a difference. So I’m happy to be one of those people making a difference and I’m proud to look out there and see awesome people,” LaDuke said.

One of the bigger focuses at the festival was the fight against the placement of Enbridge’s Line 3 crude oil pipeline.

“We have one chance to do this right. We have one chance in the conflict, right now, between water and oil,” Peggy Knapp said.

Knapp even signed a ‘No Line 3’ bus to voice her stance, saying it will destroy the great lakes if it’s placed.

“When we heard they were throwing a ‘Water is Life’ festival on the banks of Lake Superior, Gitchi Gummi, it was just the perfect place to bring the stop line 3 bus,” bus driver and activist Eoin Small said.

The bus has been traveling all over Minnesota collecting signatures for a year.

“Governor Tim Walz has said that we have a social permit that is needed for line 3, so the signatures on the back of this bus are basically Minnesotans saying, ‘permit denied,” Small said.

It came to the Water is Life event to get more people to sign.

It’s driver says every action in the fight to protect the Earth’s water supply matters, even if it’s as small as writing your name.

“Even doing one small thing in your own way is… What we need,” Small said.

Enbridge released the following statement in regards to the festival:

“Enbridge takes the protection of Minnesota’s environment very seriously.  The replacement of Line 3 is a $2.6 billion dollar safety and maintenance investment in Minnesota’s critical energy infrastructure. Replacing an aging pipeline with a new one made of thicker steel with advanced technology will help protect Minnesota’s waters and communities for generations to come.  A recent study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency found the upper Mississippi River is in great shape where six of our pipelines have operated for nearly 70 years.  

Over 14,000 Minnesotans have signed a letter in support of replacing Line 3, which is the most studied pipeline project in state history.”

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