Monday, February 15, 2010

EPA Announces California EJ Achievement Awards

The Environmental Protection Agency gave its annual Environmental Justice Achievement Award to the dozen community groups, health agencies and environmental groups for their work in protecting people from eating contaminated fish caught off the Palos Verdes Peninsula. The ceremony was held at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro. , The Palos Verdes Shelf Fish Contamination Education Collaborative includes Boat People SOS, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, the Asian Youth Center, Heal the Bay and St. Anselm's Cross-Cultural Community Center.

Fish from the waters off the Palos Verdes Peninsula have been a health risk for more than 25 years because the ocean floor there has one of the nation's largest deposits of DDT and PCBs. Some anglers, especially those in the immigrant community, were catching fish to supplement their diet without knowing of the health risk. The collaborative has tried to correct that by telling fishermen to steer clear of toxic-prone fish like the white croaker.

The EPA gives out its environmental justice award each year to an initiative working to improve the environment for vulnerable communities, often serving poor people of color who lack the resources of other conservation groups. (L.A. Times, 2/12/10, Photo courtesy EPA)

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