Two Youth Reporters Share Observations
Observing the Kick Off by Audrey Yingwei Xu, a Stanford student from Hunter’s Point
On a bright Saturday this July a group of 18 people coming from all ages with a shared passion for environmental justice gathered at the Judge John Sutter regional park to explore local native species and shipyard history, and begin a six month training program. The training was hosted by the new Oakland Shoreline Leaderhsip Academy. Speakers from the East Bay Regional Park District, Spare The Air, and the California Environmental Protection Agency shared stories. Along the shoreline trail, there are some restoration efforts to bring back native species such as white sage (Salvia Apiana) and coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis). Youths were having fun learning to recognize them by smell, size, and shape. Later in the day, there was a presentation on shipyard history and current cleaning progress. After hearing the effect of leftover Naval wastes on humans and animals, leadership academy participants raised concerns and asked questions, and learned more about the nuances of contamination clean-ups. In the end, the team returned for lunch and debrief where closer interactions with the field experts were possible. This first day of training equipped participants with information on potential ways to help protect our parks and environments for pollution and climate change. As a first-time observer, I thought it was an amazing opportunity to learn about the hidden environmental justice struggles in Oakland by the Bay!
A Short Film by Jordan Greedy, a high schooler from San Francisco
The Oakland Shoreline Leadership Academy is a project of the West Oakland Environmental Indicators group. Start up is funded by a grant from the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority, which uses a regional parcel tax to protect and restore our wetlands, shorelines, wildlife and communities.
Top image: Walking the waterfront by Jordan Greedy.