|Us at the Belle Isle Marsh Reservation.|
Friday, July 31, 2020
Environmental justice means ensuring that all people, regardless of race, culture, or background, have equal rights to a clean living environment and access to public areas that can be enjoyed without risk to those using them. This week, Team Claudia was in Fort Point Channel searching for climate justices and injustices, learning about water quality on the Schooner Roseway, and looking at footage of life underneath the Boston Harbor waters.
On the complete opposite side, when I think of environmental injustice, the 2010 BP oil spill on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico pops up in my head almost automatically. It was the largest marine oil spill in history! It spilled 4 MILLION barrels of oil in the Gulf of Mexico and had irreversible effects on the marine and coastal environments. These kinds of environmental disasters are incredibly difficult to contain and even more difficult to pin point where they affect. You can't simply clean up an oil spill in aquatic areas with a rag or nets. Instead, a chemical called a "dispersant" is used to break up the oil and dilute it so that the impact isn't as bad in one area, but spreads out instead. This makes you question how much of the world an accident like this actually impacts!
On a more Boston-related topic, the small city of Chelsea, just north of Boston, struggles with air pollution. This is because Chelsea is known for it's industrial history as well as ongoing industrial projects, like the import of scrap metal for example. Ships constantly coming in and unloading materials most certainly affects the air quality with emissions from boats and metal particles. Currently, Chelsea has a high minority and immigrant population, likely due to how affordable housing is. It makes you think about how environmental justice affects these groups more than others as well as lower-income groups.
Every person should be concerned with the topic of environmental justice because it affects everyone of us, from the air we breathe to the public spaces we enjoy. Youth and people of the community can be more proactive in topics of environmental justice by getting school programming involved with the city council and state legislators through attending meetings, writing letters, and calling about important topics to you!
Catch me on the coast!
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
|Juvenile Herring @ Constitution|
Another animal that I found at the beach was a juvenile herring. It was dead when I found it, but still super cool to look at. When I first found it I thought it was a lure that a fisherman had lost. Juvenile herring are a super important food source because many different species of larger fish feed on them.
Monday, July 27, 2020
|Cleaning up Constitution!!|
This week our group was on Carson Beach, in my town South Boston. I like being at Carson because of the convenient location. To be working on the beach, in summer: you can't ask for anything better! We have also decided that we would be making a video for our weekly project as well. Carson Beach used to be polluted, and not a safe environment for those seeking a nice day at the beach. Trash, broken glass, and so on was a frequent sight at Carson, and nobody wants to see the amount of pollution Carson Beach used to have. If it was not for the people of Boston, and the lovely volunteers that come to Carson Beach consistently to make sure it is as clean as it possibly can be for the people of the Greater Boston Area. There were even some volunteers cleaning up Carson on Thursday. We set up a crab trap. This was not a good idea because during the night, it was low tide and a raccoon got into the crab trap, destroying the exterior. It was funny to see, but it is unfortunate.
Carson Beach was lucky enough, due to the relentless effort of Bostonian to experience such a drastic and beautiful change. It deserved the environmental justice it received due to the amount of pollution and trash on Carson. The water was unsafe to swim in, walking without shoes on was a safety hazard, and just being at the beach did not give the same fun vibe that being at Carson today would. We exemplified the true power of environmental justice through the transformation of Carson Beach which is: working together, despite identity and background to push for improvements on environmental policy.
Qalid Hassan :)
|This is one of many posters for the Climate Ready Boston program.|
Honestly, this week I didn't really see how climate change has been affecting the sites, but I will definitely be on the lookout for it in the future. There are many questions when it comes to this topic, but one of them would have to be, what would we do if none of these plans work?
Sea You Later!
|Boston from Spectacle island|
|This is what the sea level rise in Boston would look like|
Until next time,
|Group picture for the win|
|Me and my teammates trying out the drones|
We also learned about climate resilience and how it will change the neighborhood. Climate resilience is the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to hazardous events related to climate. Improving climate resilience involves assessing how climate change will create new climate-related risks, and taking steps to better cope with these risks. This affects the neighborhood of fort point because it can prevent the effects of climate change that would impact the more vulnerable people of the community like children and elderly. it an interesting concept that would drastically impact the community for the better.
Guess who's back, back back, back again,(Eminem's voice). Fatima's back :)
|I caught a fishy :)))|
That day was the first time I ever caught more than three fish! Kristen caught more fish than I can remember, she was on a roll! (I was feeling kinda jealous, haha). While fishing we made various videos for our deliverable that showed how to do two different types of casting, how to bait fish, and team members catching fish! For the remainder of the week, my team and I were on Castle Island fishing off the fishing pier, getting familiar with the area, playing a few games, and making a painting of the island! While we were fishing we didn't catch as much as we thought we would :(. Aidan caught two fishing rods that were stuck together and covered in lots of seaweed and Karen caught a crab on the rod. In the crab trap, we caught some crabs and a tiny fish. While on the fishing pier, we saw Kristen, David and another team on their way to Spectacle Island, haha!
|the picture speaks for itself.|
Sunday, July 26, 2020
|Bunker Hill Monument|
|Me and my group at Carson Beach.|
The next day my team and I went to Spectacle Island. We learned about the island's history and explore the sea glass found by the shore. Towards the end, we got a little tired of walking and had some fun in the water. The last day at Carson was more laid back because we finished filming so we just walked around the beach and played some games.
|The view of Boston from Spectacle Island.|
|Carson beach view from bathhouse|
Friday, July 24, 2020
There is a big issue with climate change that in Boston can impact me personally. The main issue with climate change in Boston, however, is rising seas. Boston is a place that has a fairly big harbor and is low-lying, because of this if the tide rises by a significant amount it will cause flooding and exterior damage in the city of Boston. As of right now, that has to be our biggest worry and the reason it can affect me personally is that that it is going to affect any of my future jobs and activities. So far what I have noticed is that the tides are getting higher and the weather is getting hotter as time passes. My main concern and the thing that was the most shocking for me was the mentioning of the “90 days of 90-degree heat.” That is nerve-racking because places like Boston, which is more of a colder environment, haven't had that intense amount of heat before.
Just like I mentioned before, the heat increase that is related to climate change has a big impact on the places I work in. Each year, the sites I go to get hotter and hotter, making it more uncomfortable for work. Also, it is easy to notice when the tides are rising more and more each month/each year, It is fairly easy to notice all the changes that surround someone especially when it involves working outside in those hotter environments. One main question I have in regards to climate change and climate resiliency in general is, how do we know when the issue is fixed? How can we know if the problem with climate change is solved?
I believe I can play a big role in awareness of climate change, by making the public and my community care about the issue. It would be good if more people are aware of what is going on in our community and grasp an idea of what issues can come from climate change, as well as how it affects them. More and more people would look forward to fixing those issues. The more people know, the better our society gets.
Be Fossil Fueled up and get ready to tackle climate change!
|Peering Over Fort Point Channel|
Fort point is one of the areas of the city that was built on reclaimed land and has a man made coastline. This combination makes it especially susceptible to sea level rise. However there are things that can be done to lessen the effects of sea level rise in places like Fort Point. These are called Climate Resiliency plans. These plans include changing what is called hard coastline into soft coastline. We saw examples of the hard coastline at Fort Point not only on the surface but also with the underwater drone that we got to use this week. Another part of the Climate Resiliency plans is to create a deployable flood wall to protect neighborhoods from storm surges.
|Underwater Drone in Action|
This week I was at castle island... well, it's really a peninsula. Me and my coworkers fished on the pier there and explored the park around the pier. We learned about the history of the island and we saw the monuments and the statues that honored fallen soldiers in battle. The general vibe of the place was just soothing to experience; the calming nature is truly something to treasure and preserve. families from all around come to the island and have a calming and fun time and while practicing social distancing you can go down to the shore and enjoy the water.
Some back story that we learned while one the island is the history of the harbor and how we became the cleanest urban harbor in america. Back in the 19th century there was no such thing as a good plumbing system. Human waste and foreign objects would just flow right into the harbor, causing a lot of damage to the ecosystem and to the people that lived around them. They would literally have sludge dumped at an alarming rate into the harbor.
However in 1972 the clean water act helped Boston develop a good cleaning and filtering system that takes rain and waste water from the city and cleans it to go back to the harbor. We learned that by using the wind powered windmills and the sludge cleaners that sort of look like egg domes they can purify the water and dump it back in to the water clean! This way slowly but surely the ecosystem came back with many species of fish and other life being able to flourish now that the water is safe for them, which makes it good for people like us to fish off of the pier at castle island so we can teach the public about the many different species.
My week at revere beach was great. We came in there with open minds and eyes. we started off the week exploring the beach and seeing its hidden treasures while also pitching some ideas for the scavenger hunt. Then we discovered the wildlife on the beach and the plants. We learned how all the animals on the the beach are connected to each other and also how some of the animals condition directly correlates to the climate and the condition of the beach.
One of the animals that I interacted with the most was the piping plover, a small round bird that scurries across the beach. They are native to North America and usually like to be around lakes and beaches where they can lay their eggs in the summer. There is actually a roped off area on the beach that allows them to lay there eggs.