Spain gives personhood status to Mar Menor salt-water lagoon

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Spain has granted personhood status to what environmentalists call Europe’s largest salt-water lagoon, which has suffered massive die-offs of marine life as it degrades due to coastal development and local farming. The new law came after a citizen-led push to provide better protection for the threatened ecosystem. Spain’s Senate voted Wednesday in favor of the proposal to grant the Mar Menor lagoon on Spain’s southeastern coast the status of personhood. It was the first time such a measure has been taken in Spain. The lagoon and the nearby Mediterranean coastline will now be legally represented by caretakers made up of local officials, citizens and scientists.