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New study identifies climate hazards as Duwamish Valley’s greatest concern

Industrial activity taking place on the Duwamish RiverA recent survey of Seattle residents living in South Park and Georgetown found that more residents listed environmental hazards as a top concern than any other problem facing the area.

This study – a collaboration between University of Washington researchers, Duwamish River Community Coalition, City of Seattle, Public Health–Seattle & King County and Washington Department of Health – built on the Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response approach used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct door-to-door surveys to assess pre- and post-disaster needs in impacted communities.

The team surveyed nearly 170 households in the Duwamish Valley about their current levels of disaster preparedness and what they needed to feel more secure. The results indicate that environmental and climate hazards are a high priority for community members, who are deeply concerned about air pollution, including worsened air quality from wildfires, extreme heat and flooding.

The survey results are supporting future research efforts by the project partners, informing efforts to build resilience in the Duwamish Valley and offering lessons learned regarding community-engaged disaster needs assessments for the UW and Public Health–Seattle & King County.

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