In our last issue of the FCEC newsletter we informed you that our program was set to receive a prestigious Environmental Justice National Achievement award from EPA headquarters in Washington DC, and on February 10, 2010 we celebrated in San Pedro, California at the Cabrillo Beach Bathhouse.
With over 50 people in attendance, the event was not only a celebration of the work that FCEC does, but it was also a tribute to all of the partners that make it happen on the ground, and in our communities, day in and day out.
Keith Takata, Superfund Director USEPA Region 9, opened the event with a short introduction, which followed with the award presentation by Enrique Manzanilla also of the USEPA Region 9. Tiffany Nguyen, an FCEC partner, then gave remarks about the significance of the award on behalf of the recipients.
“The significance of receiving the award is that our work and effort in promoting healthy fish diets in the Vietnamese community has received recognition from the EPA,” Tiffany Nguyen of BPSOS later said. “The program is increasing awareness [about] fish diets and the program is positively changing the behavior of fish consumption and fish selection.”
Other members that were recognized for their work included Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, California Dept. of Fish and Game, City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services, Heal the Bay, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Orange County Health Care Agency, St. Anselm’s Cross-Cultural Community Center, Cal-EPA Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Asian Youth Center, Herald Community Center and S. Groner Associates.
There are also many other partners that make vital contributions to the project, including Montrose Settlements Restoration Program trustees, the Santa Moncia Bay Restoration Commission, Cal-EPA Department of Toxic Substances, California Department of Pubic Health Environmental Health Investigations Branch and Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts.
“Community members are beginning to pay attention to other contaminants associated with fish consumption as a result of our work,” added Nguyen. “And as a result babies will be born in healthier conditions and cancer rates will decrease among adults.”
It is FCEC’s hope that the Environmental Justice Achievement Award is only the beginning. The work must continue in order to have a lasting impact on the community.
To view a slideshow of the event, please click here.