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Nine Mile Run Environmental Equity Study

The last few weeks have brought into sharp focus the continuing inequities, racial discrimination, and violent suppression of black and brown people in The United States. At the Watershed Association we stand with our neighbors who are standing up now to say Black Lives Matter, and to demand a better future, and we are committed to doing more to address these urgent needs.

Our small, seven square mile Nine Mile Run watershed is a microcosm of Pittsburgh and most urban areas across the country, showing stark differences in prosperity, opportunity, health, and safety for residents only a few blocks from each other. This is a result of issues that continue to surface across economic, social, and environmental systems.

One issue in particular, climate change, is rapidly increasing these disparities. As we worked on a new strategic plan over the last year, we recognized the necessity of prioritizing equity more as we work to address ongoing climate change and other environmental problems. As both an individual organization, and a part of the larger environmental movement, we recognize that we have not done enough to center the concerns of black people and communities, and to work in true partnership, and that we can and must do better.

For our nearly 20 years of existence, the Nine Mile Run Watershed Association has been a leader in regional advocacy for urban ecological restoration and green infrastructure, and in implementing sustainable solutions for stormwater management on both a residential and community level. These approaches are critical to improving the quality of life for all of our residents, and to adapting to climate change.

As we look to the future, we know we need to understand better how to allocate scarce resources so that we are doing the most good for the people and communities that are most in need. This was the genesis of the Nine Mile Run Environmental Equity Study. We have also been working on a set of Climate Justice Principles, which we will share with you soon. We welcome any feedback you have for us about how we can better respond to the needs of all watershed residents by emailing .

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