Advocates and activists allege environmental racism in the Coachella Valley

Toxic waste dumps. Poor air quality. And the slow death of the Salton Sea. The Eastern Coachella Valley has serious environmental problems – and now locals are getting involved.

Speakers asked community members in the audience to get involved in promoting environmental justice in the valley. From left to right: Virginia Ortega, Manuela Ramirez and Maria de Anda. Workshop moderated by Arcela Nuñez and Lucy Moreno.

Recently several hundred people gathered at a high school in Thermal, California at the inaugural Coachella Valley Environmental Health Leadership Summit. They listened to experts and brainstormed solutions on a variety of topics.

Eduardo Guevara, with a group called Promotores Communitarios del Desierto, organized the event. “We just want to bring awareness of environmental health and environmental problems that we have in the area, and to get the agencies and the residents closer together.”

Rosie Nava-Bermudez, an activist with Comite Civico del Valle, says at the summit, “Partnerships are being formed. We’re providing a map of future steps that need to be taken. The next step is to formulate a plan of action and prioritize the different problems in the community.”

From last year’s inaugural summit.

Complete story, originally posted on April 30, 2013, can be found online at http://www.healthycal.org/archives/11729

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