The economies and cultures that rely upon healthy coastal waters are being threatened by growing levels of pollution coming from the effects of particular forms of development and the increase in impermeable surfaces that allow pollutants to run off into the sea.
Provide Gullah/Geechee people with essential information to avoid exposure to harmful toxins, capture the local environmental knowledge of the Gullah/Geechee people, and ensure the continuity of their sustainable livelihood practices.
St. Helena Island in Beaufort County, SC is a rural Sea Island with a predominantly Gullah/Geechee population that is still reliant upon the waters that surround the island for subsistence. The Gullah/Geechee people are a unique national ethnic group that lives along the Intercoastal Waterway of the southeast. Ascertaining the water quality in our communities is an urgent priority. Many Gullah/Geechee households depend on fish, shellfish, and other coastal resources for their livelihoods, through small-scale commercial endeavors and through direct consumption of these resources (Ellis, 2013).
Research suggests that rates of Gullah/Geechee local fish consumption potentially expose this segment of the population to higher levels of the neurotoxin methylmercury (MeHg) (Kamen et al. 2012, Ellis, 2013, Ellis et al. 2014). This project will provide Gullah/Geechee people with essential information to avoid exposure to harmful toxins, capture the local environmental knowledge of the Gullah/Geechee people, and ensure the continuity of their sustainable livelihood practices.
Community Science Fellow
The Community Science Exchange is a platform led by a coalition of partner societies, launched for elevating, sharing, and expanding the reach of science performed by, for, and with communities.