Monday, August 3, 2020

Environmental Justice on the Navy Yard

    Environmental justice is defined as the right for equal resources no matter what race, ethnicity, income, or housing location. The OEJ, (Office of Environmental Justice) has done many strides to improve the wellbeing of many. They work in order to provide financial and technical help at local, state, and federal levels. They seek partnerships with other organizations and businesses in order to help people achieve protection from environmental and health hazards. During 2020, they have been working to bring resources to tribes and indigenous people in the area as they are under-recognized through EPA's decision-making processes. This especially caught my attention because, throughout history, indigenous people and tribes have been mistreated to the verge of extinction, now as times are changing, they are working to correct history. 
    One part of the environmental injustice that I focused on this week is food inequality. Depending on the neighborhood a person lives in, they will have more or less access to fresh and nutritious foods. Wealthier neighborhoods will have healthier, cheaper, and more of a variety of options in their grocery stores versus less well off neighborhoods which will suffer from food deserts. Food deserts are urban areas where it is difficult to buy affordable or good quality food. Massachusetts is one of the most economically segregated states in America, low-income neighborhoods such as Mattapan, Dorchester, and Roxbury are among the areas that suffer from environmental injustice and suffer more than areas such as Seaport. Areas such as Mattapan are examples of neighborhoods that suffer from food deserts where instead of grocery stores such as whole food, there are filled with corner stores and fast-food restaurants such as Mcdonalds. Not only are the choices unhealthier and less accessible, but the prices at a corner store are also hiked up compared to prices in areas such as seaport. Without access to fresher food options at a reasonable price, people are more likely to choose the cheaper, but unhealthier options which can lead to various healthcare problems such as diabetes, obesity, and undernourishment. Anyone has the ability to help out at food pantries such as the Greater Boston Food Bank, Lovin' Spoonfuls, and much more, through volunteering or contributing to the pantries more people will get the nutrition that they deserve. As a resident of Boston, everyone should care not only because of our cities reputation, but also to protect the wellbeing of the people around us. Without everyone doing their part, people will continue to be stuck in the cycle of environmental justice without a way out.

Areas in Massachusetts that suffer from food Inequality.

                                            Varying prices in Boston depending on income.

Sea you later,

“EJ 2020 Priority Areas.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 2 Aug. 2019,

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