The new goals for environmentalism in America were defined Friday, at Earth Day 46, on the banks the Duwamish River by 16-year-old Chief Sealth International High School student Shelina Lol.
“This is the only river in the Emerald City,” said Lol, whose family hails from Fiji. “Low-income people live along the river. We like to fish in the river. Not all the fish are safe to eat . . . We all deserve a clean river.”
The Duwamish is a Superfund cleanup site, targeted for removal of chemicals and heavy metals from decades of industrial use.
But it is also a laboratory in the national drive to transform environmentalism from an all-white, affluent, outdoorsy movement into a diverse, inclusive coalition of communities that will work to heal urban environments.
Mayor Ed Murray, who organized his junior high school for the first Earth Day in 1970, used the Duwamish Waterway Park as backdrop to lay out a Seattle Equity and Environment Agenda, keyed to environmental justice.