The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), with support from the Climate and Health Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), awarded GreenRoots with $25,000 in funding to supplement ongoing climate change and health adaptation initiatives at the local level.
The 2022 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ body for assessing the science related to climate change, noted that a rapidly warming planet presents both immediate and long-term challenges for human health. Rising temperatures will mean longer, hotter summers; larger, more intense wildfires; and increased rainfall and more frequent floods, among other risks.
GreenRoots, led by Executive Director Roseann Bongiovanni, will work with the community in Chelsea to support improved air quality and a “cool block” strategy. Chelsea is adjacent to Boston Logan International Airport. The jet fuel for the airport, as well as much of the gasoline for energy needs in the surrounding area travels up Chelsea Creek while tens of thousands of vehicles cross over Tobin Bridge into the city every day. Other critical industries also operate in and around Chelsea, including one of the largest produce distribution centers on the East Coast. These industrial operations generate noise, traffic, and pollution, placing a heavy environmental burden on the residents of Chelsea. To counter these effects, GreenRoots plans to collect data from existing outdoor air quality monitors maintained by the state and develop a plan to distribute 200 air purifiers. The organization will also use the grant funding to engage the local community in plans to paint white roofs, plant trees, and redesign an area along Mill Creek to create a new park.
“Poor air quality and a lack of tree canopy cover and green space contributed to greater health impacts and vulnerabilities, as was evident with COVID-19. GreenRoots is working to address both indoor and outdoor air pollution and significant climate impacts. We’re grateful for this support and are eager to see the health benefits of these efforts” said Roseann Bongiovanni.
For more information on NACCHO’s climate change work, visit NACCHO’s webpage.
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.