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Final Progress Reports: University of Washington: Community Engagement Core

Superfund Research Program

Community Engagement Core

Project Leader: Thomas Burbacher
Grant Number: P42ES004696
Funding Period: 2015-2023
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2016 

During the past year, the CEC continued its long-term partnerships with the Northwest Toxics Community Coalition (NWTCC) and the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition (DRCC), while forging new relationships with communities involved in the Arsenic Study in South King County. The CEC has been collaborating with the NWTCC and DRCC for over a decade. The researcher team worked with NWTCC members to collect information regarding current toxic waste issues impacting their neighborhoods. Researchers assisted in organizing a 2-day summit to provide a forum for members to update each other regarding ways to address these issues. The summit also provided an opportunity for members to interact with researchers from the University of Washington. The activities with the DRCC have been focused on assisting with issues relevant to the new EPA Community Involvement Plan for the Lower Duwamish River Cleanup. One of the primary issues of concern is how to address subsistence fishing in the LDW as the cleanup proceeds. Focus groups and a Fisher Roundtable are being organized with the goal of developing effective strategies to reduce exposure to known contaminants in fish. The CEC has also assisted Rebecca Neumann, Ph.D. and Jim Gawel, Ph.D. in building strong ties with the lakeside-communities living near their study sites. The researchers have assisted the investigators in organizing community meetings to update the residents on the activities related to their project. Project staff has also enlisted volunteers from the community to assist in sample collection. The work of the Arsenic in Shallow Unstratified and Seasonally Stratified Urban Lakes project is also being disseminated by the University of Washington Tacoma, which caught the attention of the Office of the Mayor of Federal Way, who recently reached out for assistance in dealing with issues related to blue-green algae/cyanobacteria on privately held lakes. All of the above activities are ongoing and will continue during the next grant period.

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