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Stream Restoration and Environmental Justice: Confluence or Countercurrent?

Authors: Sharon Moran*, State Univeristy of New York - Env. Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: stream restoration; environmental justice; watershed management
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/10/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This poster explores how the goal of environmental justice, increasing present in public discourse, can help to reinforce the goals of stream restoration projects – or alternatively, threaten them. Environmental justice requires attention to disparities: a focus on those who get less protection under the law and fewer environmental amenities, and especially the institutional and social processes that give rise to these outcomes. However, the goals of increasing environmental equity may actually engender hostility: at a time when accomplishments of the civil rights movement seem to be under attack, the number of hate crimes reported has been rising, and divisive rhetoric has been tolerated, even at the national level, it is worth exploring the ways that this goal of environmental justice is being realized, specifically in the case of projects to restore watersheds and especially stream. It will review: the ways the goal of environmental justice has come about and for whom, how it has (and has not) interfaced with stream restoration initiatives to dates, the ways that the project structure (and selection process) may mediate against restorations in minority communities, and how that might be addressed, highlighting some novel ways that restoration projects have been developed and implemented.

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