Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund Site
The 2009 Citizen Excellence in Community Involvement Award winner is the Palos Verdes Shelf Fish Contamination Education Collaborative (PVS FCEC) Community Outreach Team. This award is presented annually to an individual or a community group working with a Superfund team for outstanding achievements in the field of environmental protection. The PVS FCEC Team is being recognized for its work to protect the most vulnerable populations in Southern California from the health risks of consuming DDT- and PCB-contaminated fish.
The Palos Verdes Shelf Superfund Site is an area of contaminated sediment on the continental shelf off the Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, CA. The sediment is contaminated with DDT and PCBs from historical industrial releases. Fish, particularly bottom-feeders such as white croaker, contain levels of DDT and PCB that warrant fish advisories.
The PVS FCEC provides education on the dangers of consuming contaminated fish, as well as recommended eating and preparation guidelines to local communities, school groups, health clinics, and fish markets. The FCEC also developed educational materials that have been translated into nine languages to ensure all affected local communities are adequately informed of health issues related to contaminated fish consumption. In addition to extensive hands-on outreach, the FCEC also maintains a website, www.pvsfish.org, that contains educational resources on fish consumption recommendations and fish preparation tips.
The PVS FCEC Community Outreach Team, composed of both local organizations and community members, has used a plethora of tools to ensure all affected communities are reached. The variety and extent of the outreach activities conducted by the FCEC serve as a shining example for community groups and individuals across the country seeking to constructively participate in the cleanup of a hazardous waste site.