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The Elizabeth River Project (ERP) has teamed with researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and William & Mary to build an online mapping tool that can help the non-profit and other community partners better incorporate environmental justice issues into planning and restoration efforts. Collaborating with the researchers was an Environmental Justice and Equity subcommittee recently convened by ERP to develop its next Watershed Action Plan.
Joe Rieger, ERP’s Deputy Director for Restoration, says the US Environmental Protection Agency defines environmental justice or “EJ” as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. He says the new Elizabeth River Environmental Justice Tool “provides a great additional way for us to more deliberately focus our planning efforts in historically under-resourced communities of color.”