Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Lin’

As some of you know, I will be going on a six month detail in the EPA Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) environmental justice office. I am excited about the new career opportunity. My passion in environmental justice and social justice has grown in the past 8 years during my work on the Palos Verdes Shelf (PV Shelf) superfund project.  Naturally, my passion has led me to this new opportunity.  

In 2002, when I first became the project manager for the PV Shelf project, we were grappling with a real risk exposure and public health problem facing our communities.  After my first meeting with the project stakeholders, James Alamillo with Heal the Bay approached me and told me this is an environmental justice (EJ) project. He asked me “what is this administration’s plan to protect the EJ community?”  I didn’t have an answer for him.  

When I got back to my office, I started reading up on environmental justice and took a fundamentals of EJ training offered at EPA.  As an immigrant who came to this country at the age of 18 and someone who is always interested in the history of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S., I got it immediately.   The EJ communities are not faceless people to me; instead, they are people like me.  This enlightenment put a new resolution in my commitment to my work.  

Many of you know this project has been so innovative in linking scientific risk reduction measures with community outreach work.  This project is built on the solid foundation of “meaningful involvement” and “equal and fair treatment” of all people. We were the first EPA Superfund project that introduced the strategic planning tool with a neutral facilitator and have been consistently using this tool to guide our program implementation over the past six years.  We were the first and only Superfund project that has brought environmental justice training to the community, local and state agency partners.   We’ve made decisions together. We worked to get our local and state governmental agencies involved in this mission of protecting people who are the most vulnerable, most in need of our help and are often voiceless.  This project is not just a Superfund site or a job to me, I found my calling in this work.

James Alamillo and I talked again recently.  He asked me how I felt about leaving this project, “Sharon’s baby” in his words.  I think of this change as a short break.  I am taking the knowledge and experience of what I have learned from all of you and applying it to a broader program.  I encourage you to continue sharing with your constituencies this incredible project that we have built collectively. I will keep in touch and update you on my new job.  See you in 2011.  

The core of the FCEC program is fishing. The sport runs deep in Southern California culture and history, indeed for some in our greater community it is far more than a sport, it’s a necessity to survive. Fishing is dear to my heart as my husband often takes our young children fishing on the weekends. It is indeed a great outdoors experience for all people.

In this issue of the Fall FCEC newsletter we celebrate our local fishermen. It is these folks that our program seeks to reach, and it is these individuals that we hope will spread the word further about fish contamination in our region.

First we have two informative videos to share with you. Our first is an instructional video on how to properly prepare your local catch. Knowing which parts of the fish are safest to consume could have lasting positive health impacts on those who eat these fish. The second video you can view here is from a sport fishing angler at the Redondo Beach Rod & Gun Club. Check out what he has to say about the information we shared with him!

In this issue of the FCEC newsletter you can also read about our community education work with team member Frankie Orrala of Heal the Bay. Also, in recognition of the anglers that make up the majority of our outreach and the vibrant fishing culture in our region, we also have a recap of Fisherman Appreciation Day, which was held in late July.

Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to check out our blog since the last issue, I hope you will do so! Every week we post new articles that are both educational and practical. We post fish recipes, interviews and upcoming events! There is something for everyone.

Be sure to let us know what you think. Your feedback is greatly appreciated as it helps shape the direction of our work. How do you leave feedback you ask? It’s simple: just post a comment on the article that interests you the most. We’ll be sure to reply back.

Thanks again for reading. Here’s to the fishing community that makes FCEC so relevant and vibrant. So grab your pole and hit your local pier!

Sincerely,

Sharon Lin

EPA Region 9
Remedial Project Manager