Gutierrez to speak on environmental justice and river restoration in Puget Sound
Dr. Grant Gutierrez will present Environmental Justice and River Restoration in Puget Sound on March 2, 2023 as part of the Environmental Speaker Series hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University. The series is free and open to the public, and will be held in person as well as streamed on zoom.
As the second largest estuary in the United States, Puget Sound is a national figure for river restoration. River restoration is an important tool for repairing legacies of uneven economic development that have degraded river systems across the US and resulted in disproportionate impacts on communities who are poor and communities of color, leaving them exposed to all kinds of environmental hazards and harm. Currently, river restoration as a form of ecological improvement is also emerging as an important climate change adaptation strategy as well as a nexus of social justice concerns. Drawing on two years of archival, ethnographic, and community-based research, this talk will explore two distinct modes of river restoration as they relate to ideas of environmental justice. By drawing on comparisons of two distinct communities who live along the banks of the Skagit and Duwamish Rivers, this talk discusses how communities come to understand and define environmental harm and how this relates to concerns for environmental justice.