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On YouTube: Environmental Justice Mapping Tools for New York State Communities
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) - News


NYSG’s Environmental Justice Mapping Tools Guide highlights publicly available online tools, like the Environmental Protection Agency’s EJSCREEN tool (pictured above), to connect communities with data for exploring environmental justice locally.

Contact:

Jessica A. Kuonen, Hudson Estuary Resilience Specialist, NYSG E: jak546@cornell.edu, P: (845) 340-3983

Kingston, NY, January 17, 2022 - NYSG’s offers a guide of online mapping tools (pdf) that showcase information on race, class, and the environment to help stakeholders approach environmental issues with these concepts in mind. A one-stop-shop for 22 online mapping tools, this guide makes it easy for local governments, land use and zoning planners, community organizations, and the public to access the tools and benefit from them. 

The guide was developed with environmental justice (EJ) at the forefront. The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) defines success for environmental justice when all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, have access to environmental decision-making processes and equal protection from environmental and health hazards. 

To help put EJ into context at a local level, the tools included in this guide work with a variety of data types that can highlight environmental, health, economic, and social disparities. The benefit of having multiple mapping tools in one place is that the user is able to pose questions and explore one, two, or more tools to find their answers. Bringing a variety of free online mapping tools together creates an interdisciplinary resource for communities when planning for the future.  

“I hope this guide increases awareness of these tools in general and encourages inclusion of environmental justice into environmental planning and decision-making processes. I am excited to see how communities incorporate the tools into their work or practice. So far, I’ve learned that Buffalo Niagara WaterKeeper used our guide for an Environmental Justice Curriculum, and the Rochester Museum & Science Center used it for one of their exhibits. NYSG also plans to use the tools in the guide internally to assess our programming and inform upcoming projects,” said Jessica Kuonen, Hudson Estuary Resilience Specialist, New York Sea Grant.

Among the online tools included in this guide are the popular EJSCREEN, Neighborhoods at Risk, How’s My Waterway, and the DECinfo Locator


During a fall 2021 webinar series, New York Sea Grant introduced hundreds of participants to the environmental justic concept and provide demonstrations on how to use these specific tools in the guide. Above is the full playlist.

For those unfamiliar with environmental justice and how mapping tools can help solve environmental issues, NYSG hosted a webinar series this past fall. During each session — offered from late October through early December — attendees learned how to access local demographic and environmental hazard data from the creators of three online mapping tools. 

The goal for the series was to help make these tools more accessible. Each session will provide background on how and why each tool was created, appropriate uses, demonstrations, time for Q&A with our presenters, and some will include a hands-on activity.

Recordings of these webinars are available at www.nyseagrant.org/deiresources.

NYSG is proud to continue to provide educational resources and opportunities to help stakeholders learn more about environmental justice and make online tools easily accessible so that New York communities can include environmental justice in their environmental plans and decision-making. 


More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, University at Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County on Long Island; at Brooklyn College, with New York City Department of Environmental Protection in Queens and at Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Elmsford and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: www.nyseagrant.org has RSS, FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via www.nyseagrant.org/nycoastlines for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

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