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Environmental Justice and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership

April 5, 2021 — Environmental justice is the idea that all people, regardless of race, religion, national origin, or economic station, deserve fair treatment with regards to environmental laws and policy. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership works to restore and revitalize relationships between urban communities, particularly those that have been disproportionately impacted by pollution or economic distress, and local waterways.

Park next to a river; bridge in background.
In 2004 a tanker released more than 265,000 gallons of oil into the Delaware, exposing this area and hundreds of other miles of shoreline to spilled crude oil. Today, Lardner’s Point features a clean and welcoming waterfront public park, with newly restored shorelines. Image credit: NOAA.

This is done by improving coordination among different federal agencies and collaborating with community-led groups. NOAA’s OR&R leads the Urban Water Federal Partnership effort for the Delaware River as a co-lead federal agency for the waterway.

On March 25th OR&R Director Scott Lundgren spoke on behalf of NOAA at the first of three Urban Waters Federal Partnership-Delaware River Location Environmental Justice and Brownfields Communities of Practice Virtual Webinars. He discussed NOAA’s efforts as it relates to environmental justice, including our work regarding oil spills, Superfund sites, and issues regarding marine debris. He also provided an update on NOAA’s response to new environmental justice-related Executive Orders.

Co-chairing the Brownfield Community of Practice, ARD scientist Simeon Hahn worked with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary’s Emily Baumbach and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Frank McLaughlin to develop this webinar series centered on Environmental Justice. Other distinguished speakers included Olivia Glenn, Deputy Commissioner New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and University of Delaware Professor Jeffrey Richardson. Senator Chris Coon’s office and Bob Benson of the EPA’s Chief Partnerships Program Branch were in attendance.  

For further information, contact Simeon.Hahn@noaa.gov.

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Last updated Monday, April 12, 2021 8:59am PDT