Advancing equity and justice through community science programming in design, construction, and research of a nature-based solution: the Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project

Leann Andrews, Ashley D. Mocorro Powell, Nancy Rottle, Jennifer Engelke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Dxwdəw refers to the Black-Green Rivers confluences that made the Duwamish River in Seattle, Washington, USA, prior to the 1910s. Significant industrial activity and human-made diversions to these rivers caused heavy pollution and eliminated 97% of historic wetlands, forever altering the historic river systems, salmon runs and human and aquatic health. Today the Green-Duwamish River and Duwamish Estuary are an industrial and commercial corridor, albeit also a site of cultural significance and fishing rights for urban Indigenous and Coast Salish tribes, and home and workplace to diverse urban populations of sustenance fishers, immigrants and refugees, communities of color, and low-income neighborhoods. Using a socio-ecological and environmental justice perspective within a nature-based solution, the Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project designed and piloted four constructed floating wetland structures for two years on the Duwamish River and researched their feasibility to provide habitat for out-migrating juvenile salmon. A multi-pronged community team (community leaders, liaisons, stewards and scientists) worked alongside academics and professionals. This paper showcases the formulation and adaptation of a two-year citizen/community science program integrated into the project. We outline the frameworks, approach, outcomes, and lessons-learned of the community science and outreach program, and compiled these in a list of guidelines to provide practitioner, researcher and community insight into the value and necessity of prioritizing environmental justice, racial equity, and ecosystem needs in nature-based solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-391
Number of pages15
JournalSocio-Ecological Practice Research
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Urban Studies

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