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197439 Community based participatory environmental health research to improve water quality on a major water source in Southwestern PA
Monday, November 9, 2009: 9:00 AM
The Allegheny River Stewardship project is a community based participatory environmental health research project focused on water quality in the Allegheny River, PA. Key objectives of this project are to engage river community members to become involved in the stewardship of the Allegheny River; understand the concentrations of important contaminants in river fish species, especially those caught for consumption; associate contaminants in fish with potential pollution sources; identify human exposures and risk to human health from these contaminants; obtain and share data with policymakers to provide evidence for the necessary policy change to solve identified problems and form strategic partnerships with stakeholder groups along the Allegheny River to help insure ongoing stewardship activities. This project has engaged communities and individuals on the Allegheny River, through three community meetings, as well as numerous meetings with Angler groups and clubs, schools, boro and city government, environmental regulatory agencies and environmental organizations and non profits. Community input through pollution narratives provided by attendees at community meetings dictated sampling sites on the river. The fish sample was primarily acquired through Community Fishing Days advertised by flyer in local markets, libraries, community bulletin boards, mass mailings, news media, television and radio. Results of this project have brought attention to a large legacy waste site and reinitiated remediation efforts , new evidence on river mining monitoring techniques has lead to engagement with a state lawmaker writing legislation on river mining and finally greater trust and increased collaboration with the communities participating in the ARSP.
Keywords: Water Quality, Participatory Research
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of Operations for the Center for Health Environments and Communities at the University of Pittsburgh Gradute School of Public Health as well as a doctoral candidate at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. The Center for Healthy Environments and Communities is responsible for the Allegheny River Stewardship Project. This author was the project manager.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.
See more of: CBPR Approaches to Physical and Built Environments
See more of: Community-Based Public Health Caucus