This lake now has legal rights, just like you

  • Loading...
  • Published on:  Monday, April 29, 2019
  • Why the “rights of nature” could be the next frontier for environmentalism.This video is presented by CuriosityStream: the Video Lab! more about the movement behind the Lake Erie Bill of Rights: Lake Erie Bill of Rights is the first law of its kind in the United States. In February of 2019, the residents of Toledo, Ohio voted to give Lake Erie's entire ecosystem legal rights. That means any citizen of Toledo, if they have credible evidence that a corporation or government is harming the lake, can file a lawsuit on behalf of Lake Erie in court. The Lake Erie Bill of Rights is part of a larger movement to give legal rights to mountains, rivers, forests, and other natural objects. The citizens of these communities -- from Pennsylvania, to Ecuador, to New Zealand -- argue that because their long-term survival is dependent on the health of their natural surroundings, anything that harms the lakes, rivers, or forests they depend on should be considered a legal harm. It’s a totally new way of approaching the law, and it could change the very nature of our relationship with the natural world. This is how one community in Ohio started what they hope will be a nationwide movement. Further Reading:The National Center for Water Quality at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio has a great site ( on harmful algae blooms. This feature from Belt Magazine ( goes into more detail about some of the other agricultural practices that contribute to Lake Erie’s harmful algal blooms.This in-depth explainer ( from Civil Eats goes into more detail about the rise of CAFOs in the Western Lake Erie Basin. Ohio Sea Grant ( is another excellent resource for learning about harmful algae blooms.Pam Taylor’s group, Environmentally Concerned Citizens of South Central Michigan, published a report in collaboration with the Sierra Club ( on the impact of manure spreading in the Western Lake Erie Basin. If you want to learn more about how larger industrial farm operations view the issue, this blog post ( from the Ohio Farm Bureau outlines why they’re fighting the Lake Erie Bill of Rights in court. is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out our full video catalog: Vox on Facebook: Twitter:
  • Source:


  • Vox


     3 months ago +122

    We're hosting a livestream Q&A with Elizabeth Scheltens, the creator of this video, for Video Lab members next on Thursday, May 9th! Senior Vox producer Joss Fong will be moderating, so if you have questions about our journalistic process, video production, research, animation techniques, or anything else, be sure to sign up here to get them answered live on stream!

  • Zuzu


     3 months ago +5740

    If earth has legal rights, it'd sue the human race immediately

  • Cody Beasenburg

    Cody Beasenburg

     3 months ago +890

    Are we going to ignore the politician calling a group of his constituents buffoons?

  • Jay Sucks At YouTube

    Jay Sucks At YouTube

     3 months ago +1635

    Ah, a body of water with equal rights.
    How Eerie.

  • Zokizzy Foshizzy

    Zokizzy Foshizzy

     3 months ago +944

    Natives recognized the safety of nature without a bill of rights.

  • Andrew


     3 months ago +190

    bippity boppity
    the lake is no longer property

  • DramaMamma5014


     3 months ago +131

    flint still doesn’t have clean water btw it’s 2019

  • Daniel Smallman

    Daniel Smallman

     3 months ago +226


  • Nathan D

    Nathan D

     3 months ago +337

    Why would you put Ohio, Michigan, and then Canada on the same map? Surely Ontario would have made much more sense to keep the units consistent, no?

  • G_thbaa


     3 months ago +178

    Flint Michigan: am I a joke to you

  • Autymn Maas

    Autymn Maas

     3 months ago +2627

    I live on lake Erie. It was so polluted that they mentioned it in the Lorax(original film). Of all lakes that deserve protecting, this one, the shallowest, definitely needs it.

  • Zinfiny


     3 months ago +75

    I live literally 1 minute away from lake Erie it's like in my back yard and as I grow up it looks more disgusting I refuse to even down in it now and most places restrict it it's not sandy it's very rocky most rocks are big Like 4x the size of a fist and are sharp enough to cut you the water is so pollutes if you had goggles then you can't see more then 5 centimeters ahead of you.
    Yea it's pretty bad to say the least

  • Nank Dug

    Nank Dug

     3 months ago +181

    If mother nature is a sentient legal entity,
    humans would get capital punishment in the first trial.

  • Richard T

    Richard T

     3 months ago +149

    It's really disgusting along the Fort Erie/Buffalo shore line....

  • Arcade Era Beats

    Arcade Era Beats

     3 months ago +87

    Shame on Toledo City Council for calling those women bafoons for exercising there rights 5:24

  • Jeevan Jacob

    Jeevan Jacob

     3 months ago +3162

    LGBT Community: We have rights now
    Lake Eerie: Hold my dirty water

  • Tinny


     2 months ago +16

    0:03 Ah yes, Ohio, Michigan, and then, of course, the entire country of Canada.

  • Jakob D

    Jakob D

     3 months ago +60

    Good question at the end. Probably the one who inflicts more pain should be restricted aka. Animal industry which is polluting water causing problems for all people living in the surrounding area!

  • my penis is unbelievably small, but

    my penis is unbelievably small, but

     3 months ago +38

    women in arab countries watching this like:
    J E A L O U S

  • dboyzero


     3 months ago +6

    "The right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins."