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
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!
me on the coast!