Environmental justice scales with a young tree growing out of a stump

What is environmental justice? 

Environmental justice is the equal and fair treatment of all people in the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Environmental justice is vitally important to our growth as a community and ensures proper procedures are in place to help citizens with environmental issues. Major issues with environmental justice are disaster recovery, health care issues due to the environment, building infrastructure zones, and resource management. 

Environmental Justice 

Environmental Laws

Political Ecology 

Political ecology is a field of study of the relationships between political, economic, and social factors with environmental issues and climate changes. This interdisciplinary field analyzes the environmental problems using the concepts and methods of political economy. For instance, building regulation zones, housing zones, protected environment zones are regulated by the federal and state legislatures and departments, local commission offices, and local government offices. These zones are created with the consideration of political and economic structures and institutional goals that makes the balance of fundamental ecology. Laws and policies are created using the multisector analysis of historical, ethnography, ecological field studies, temporal and spatial scales for new economic development and conservation initiatives. Building from these environmental methods our communities can progress in the nationwide initiative on climate change. 

balance of green planet life scales
justice fist colored in the blue and green world map

Problem Statement

Why is environmental justice important? 

Environmental justice plays an important role in our community judicial justice system. However, citizens must be aware of the dangers that the environment poses during critical season changes. For instance, Florida experiences some of the most disastrous tropical storms, hurricanes, and flooding in the southeast United States. The local Florida citizens who live near the coast must insure that their homes and assets are protected from environmental disaster. Disaster recovery is a vital part of environmental justice which helps citizens rehabilitate their lives after a natural disaster. The best way to protect yourself and your family is to get insured, follow law enforcement and news guidelines, stock up important items before a disaster and manage your personal assets. Developing new environmental justice policies for public offices, private businesses and local communities will help determine clear goals and solutions. 

words that describe environmental justice

What is the relationship between climate change and environmental justice? 

Climate change happens to everyone and the community that is affected by changes in our environment need secure protection for future stability. Many of the climate change issues in the Gulf coast are due to the warming of global temperatures, rising sea levels, increased natural disasters, and long term regional development. Processing the issues of climate change and ensuring that our community is climate change ready to pursue new goals will protect our future. Environmental justice has the ability to stabilize economic investments for businesses that use the environment for products. For instance, fishing companies, coal, oil, natural gas, lumber, mining natural minerals, natural spring water, farming livestock and agriculture. Environmental justice also deals with the concerns for buildings and human infrastructure investments for new construction zones. 

U.S. Region 4 Environmental Justice showcase Community: Jacksonville, Florida Health Zone 1 

The City of Jacksonville and numerous stakeholders are to improve environmental and public health outcomes in the areas that have low income and minority population. The areas have multiple Superfund sites, Brownfields, vacant and abandoned lots or other properties that are suspected of contamination and impacted waterways. Jacksonville, Florida is home to many urban city citizens that must be protected against environmental injustices. The Jacksonville community is faced with the lack of access to health care services and prevention opportunties that have been adversely impacted by the environmental degradation of lands left underdeveloped. The Jacksonville community is working to create a new health care center in the middle of the brownfields that would provide health care services in this low income and minority population area. This new plan also includes a vision of sustainability through green building designs, walkability and public transportation choices, and food security. 

Although Jacksonville is a Environmental Justice Showcase Community there are many local Florida communities across the panhandle that need upgrades in green building designs, food security, healthcare services, affordable housing, and sustainable farmlands. Environmental Justice is a important cause that established our Floridian quality of life. We gain by the environmental efforts of resilience against natural disasters and the sustainability of green energy and green production of products. 

colorful hands reaching out to a world globe
colorful characters in green, yellow, and blue. with symbols for justice

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