Toxic Risk, Climate Change and Human Health

May. 21, 2015 - May. 21, 2015 Sunset Park, Brooklyn

On this expedition we explored the coastal community of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, an environmentally overburdened area within NYC’s storm surge zone. The neighborhood is a designated Significant Maritime Industrial Area (SMIA) with a clustering of heavy industrial and polluting infrastructure uses along the waterfront.

Scientist Linda S. Birnbaum, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) joined the expedition with interest in assessing contamination exposure risks to human health, and threats from extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy. The expedition was led by Elizabeth Yeampierre, Director of local community group UPROSE, and Eddie Bautista, Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance. In addition to mapping threats, these organizations are advocating for an overhaul of NYC’s coastal zone management plan in light of climate change impacts.