Ostrom Portrait

Elinor and Vincent Ostrom, Elinor Ostrom Collection, The Lilly Library

In recent years, the Ostroms brought their academic expertise in natural resources to the aid of Manitoulin Island. At a 2011 public meeting held by the International Great Lakes Study Team, Lyle Dewar, a friend of the Ostroms, read a letter of concern from Elinor Ostrom.

Elinor wrote: “My husband and I bought land on the south shore of the Manitoulin Island in 1967. We built a log cabin, where we have spent many summer writing retreats with regular walks along the shore of Lake Huron…. As a scholar focusing on the benefits and costs of diverse ways of governing and managing natural resources, I understand how difficult decisions about benefits and costs can be. I am distressed that the costs to the Manitoulin Island and other shorelines of Lake Huron have not adequately been taken into account in decisions about water levels and flows in the Great Lakes system.”