Kelsey Leonard: What If Lakes And Rivers Had Legal Rights? Water is life. Yet in the eyes of the law, it remains largely unprotected. Legal scholar Kelsey Leonard says granting water bodies legal personhood can transform how we value this vital resource.
NPR logo

Kelsey Leonard: What If Lakes And Rivers Had Legal Rights?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/899837395/900098596" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Kelsey Leonard: What If Lakes And Rivers Had Legal Rights?

Kelsey Leonard: What If Lakes And Rivers Had Legal Rights?

Kelsey Leonard: What If Lakes And Rivers Had Legal Rights?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/899837395/900098596" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Our Relationship With Water

Water is life. Yet in the eyes of the law, it remains largely unprotected. Legal scholar Kelsey Leonard says granting water bodies legal personhood can transform how we value this vital resource.

About Kelsey Leonard

Kelsey Leonard is a legal scholar and water policy expert. She represents the Shinnecock Indian Nation as the Tribal Co-Lead on the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean, which is charged with protecting and managing the coastal resources of five Mid-Atlantic states. She also serves as a member of the Great Lakes Water Quality Board of the International Joint Commission.

Leonard has PhD in Comparative Public Policy from McMaster University, where her research focused on Indigenous water security and its climatic, territorial, and governance underpinnings. She holds a Masters of Science in Water Science, Policy and Management from the University of Oxford. She also holds a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Harvard University and a JD from Duquesne University.