Environmental Justice in the Elizabeth River Watershed, VA:
Exploring the social, political, and economic context behind environmental injustice and the utility of environmental justice screening tools
From contaminated soils to cancerous fish, the Elizabeth River watershed region of Virginia has a long history of environmental pollution and social oppression that influence the environmental injustice seen today.
The Environmental justice (EJ) movement has long highlighted the disproportionate exposure to environmental hazards experienced by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), and low-income communities across the country. Recently, environmental practitioners have focused on utilizing EJ screening tools, which combine environmental and social data to visualize vulnerable communities, to begin addressing environmental injustice rampant in BIPOC and low-income communities. This module explores EJ theoretical frameworks and the historical context of environmental pollution and degradation and social oppression in the Elizabeth River watershed of Virginia to: 1) understand the social, political, and economic context behind environmental injustice; and 2) generate indicators to add to EJ screening tools to enhance the visualization of vulnerable communities.