Environmental Justice

Southeast Asian Environmental Leadership (SAEL)

Founded in 2020, Southeast Asian Environmental Leadership (SAEL) organizes Southeast Asian community members to develop a Sustainable Neighborhood Plan (SNP) focused on sustainable economic and environmental development through green infrastructure, with the understanding that when those most impacted by the issue design solutions which create economic opportunity in an ecologically sustainable way, we have the most significant impact. Park Village Apartments is home to those who are most burdened by the impacts of climate change, with a high concentration of elderly refugees with chronic health issues, non-English speakers, high rates of poverty, and lack of access to safe transportation and healthy foods.  SAEL provides technical and procedural training on environmental decision making and investment, as well as education on best practices for green infrastructure development. Participants then work through a series of assemblies to co-construct priorities for development and translate those priorities into specific proposals in the SNP, which includes a plan for attaining resources and ongoing funding for implementation.

SAEL is organized in collaboration with Southeast Asian Community Leaders Council in partnership with Lao Family Community Empowerment, which will convene a growing number of leaders from neighborhoods, clans, and community and faith organizations to build a unified leadership base in the Southeast Asian community which can provide broad support to growing grassroots institutions like the People’s Assembly on Immigration and SAEL.

Lead and Mercury Prevention (LAMP)

Founded in 2018, The Lead and Mercury Prevention (LAMP) project provides education on lead and mercury exposure in our environment to ensure the health and wellbeing of our families. LAMP was designed to address the high levels of lead and mercury exposure in Southeast Asian households from imported products that lack environmental testing, beauty products, foods, and other household items. LAMP expands upon the Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program (Delta MERP), which APSARA ran from 2015-2017. Through the Delta MERP program, APSARA distributed 10,415 fish advisories in 6 languages: Khmer, English, Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish and Hmong, conducted 11 presentations in community events and conducted 5 workshops for youth groups.

LAMP utilizes Community Health Connectors (CHCs) to communicate the risks of lead effectively and mercury poisoning, increase prevention through culturally and linguistically appropriate education and increase knowledge of and involvement in local environmental justice efforts. The priority populations of this LAMP environmental health program are Southeast Asians in San Joaquin County, including primarily Cambodian, Hmong, Laotian, and Vietnamese residents in Stockton, CA. Education workshops reach 1,500 families, and screenings are provided to 500 families annually.

Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program (MERP)

The goal of the Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program (Delta MERP) is to reduce human exposure to mercury by promoting awareness about the risk of consuming fish from the Delta.

Delta MERP is a collaborative effort of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Conservancy, the California Department of Public Health, and the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to reduce human exposure from eating contaminated fish. Some fish that are caught in the Delta, and other water bodies in the State, contain elevated levels of mercury. While fish is a highly nutritious food, it is important to limit or avoid the types of fish that are high in mercury. MERP activities include convening a stakeholder advisory group, implementing outreach and education projects, developing signs in the Delta, and developing multilingual educational materials.

For more information please contact Seng So at (209) 905-1770 or sseng@apsaraonline.org. Below is the last update of the community advisor series for eating fish caught in the Delta. Translated by the APSARA team. For more details please go the Delta MERP website http://deltaconservancy.ca.gov/delta-mercury-exposure-reduction-program-merp/