“How Water Works in Eastwick” Workshop, May 15

All are invited to join “How Water Works in Eastwick” community workshop to better understand climate adaptation and flood mitigation strategies that can be integrated into the Eastwick Planning Process.

The workshop is being held on Monday, May 15, 2017, 6:00 pm, at the Eastwick Mercy Wellness Center, 2821 Island Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19153.

The Consortium for Climate Research in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN) and Lower Darby Creek Area Research Team are hosting this workshop to discuss in detail the Eastwick community’s flooding problem, introduce a new tool for understanding the combined impacts of coastal and tidal flows, and explore the various urban planning considerations associated with several leading climate adaptation and flooding mitigation possibilities.

The focus of the workshop is “How Water Works in Eastwick.” Affected by downstream flows from Darby/Cobbs creeks and the Schuylkill River as well as tidal influences including storm surge and sea level rise from the Delaware River, Eastwick is vulnerable to both upstream and downstream factors.

CCRUN has developed a new hydrological model that can analyze the potential combined impacts of all of these factors. The workshop will introduce the model, various gray and green infrastructure responses to climate adaptation, and techniques used to mitigate flooding that are applicable to Eastwick.

We will begin a conversation of how to integrate residents’ experiences and knowledge of the community with those of scientists. We will then break into small groups to further the conversation between residents and scientists while investigating sites of interest to the Eastwick Planning Process.

Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition urges all to attend this workshop, bring a neighbor, and be informed about environmental challenges that impact our community’s social and economic well-being.

Environmental Hearing at City Hall, March 22

Philadelphia City Council is holding a public hearing on the environment on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 3:00 pm, at City Hall Room 400.  Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) urges all Eastwick residents and stakeholders to attend this open city meeting.

YOU make a difference in conveying to city officials that flooding, air pollution, and other environmental factors deeply impact our community. Attend to lend your voice and support!

EFNC members will testify at the hearing, highlighting these points:

  • Eastwick is an environmental justice community in SW Philadelphia. Residents endure disproportionate burdens, encompassing multiple issues dating back decades.
  • Eastwick is impacted by toxic emissions from multiple, nearby sources. Pollution comes from oil refinery, major postal distribution center, and a mega-highway running through the neighborhood.
  • The Philadelphia International Airport has a significant impact on air quality. Hundreds of aircraft daily release excess jetfuel into the atmosphere over Eastwick during landings into PHL, among the busiest airports in the world.
  • High rates of asthma and respiratory illnesses afflict Eastwick residents. Air quality studies are being developed to quantify toxins so that solutions can be explored.
  • Eastwick families have lived within sight of the Clearview landfill since the 1950’s, and children played on the dump. The Clearview and Folcroft landfills were closed in the 1970’s, and in 2001, the Lower Darby Creek Area (LDCA) was declared a national priority superfund site. The EPA initiated remediation in 2013, a lengthy process that is ongoing today.
  • Eastwick is plagued by chronic and severe flooding, resulting from the filling of Tinicum marsh, coupled with increased threat of storm surge from sea level rise and climate destablization.
  • Eastwick is situated on what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) identifies as a 100-year floodplain. This means extreme floods have a one percent chance of occurring in any given year; Hurricanes Floyd and Irene both caused massive flooding.
  • Since much of Eastwick was built in FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Area, Eastwick residents need affordability options for rising flood insurance premiums that threaten homeowners in this special FEMA area. Changes to the National Flood Insurance Program are imperative.
  • Like many urban neighborhoods, asphalt is pervasive in Eastwick. Extensive impervious surfaces exacerbates flooding, with few trees or vegetation to naturally absorb stormwater.
  • Many homes in Eastwick were built on silt and dredge spoil. Mediocre construction is eroding, and foundations are cracking with the ever-present pressure of water

It’s important for Philadelphia city officials to hear our message: Eastwick’s economic and social health are intricately connected to the environment. Sustainable solutions and policies must address flooding, climate change, clean air and clean water.

The Environmental Hearing is free and open to the public. To enter City Hall, you may need photo ID to sign-in to the building. We hope to see you there!

Community Meeting with ShopRite, Jeff Brown, on January 18

All are invited to a public community meeting on January 18 to meet ShopRite owner  Jeff Brown and his team, and hear about renovation plans for the ShopRite of Island Avenue, Penrose Plaza Philadelphia.  Enjoy refreshments and community conversation.

Meeting:  Wednesday, January 18, 2017 – 6:00-8:00 PM.  Eastwick Wellness Center, 2821 Island Avenue, Philadelphia PA 19153. Please arrive promptly to sign-in to the Wellness Center.

This meeting is hosted in partnership with ShopRite and Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition.  We look forward to seeing you there!

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EFNC Joins “Day of Denial” Protests Climate Change Deniers

On January 9, 2107, a bitter cold day in Philadelphia, members of Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition (EFNC) joined the national “Day of Denial” rally to protest climate change deniers. EFNC marched in Philadelphia with a coalition of environmental and social justice groups, including 350 Philadelphia, Food & Water WatchGreen Justice Philly, and others.

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EFNC joins “Day of Denial” rally in Philadelphia, protesting climate change deniers.  (Photo by Joseph Reid)

Our “Day of Denial” action was part of a national effort to focus attention and raise concerns about proposed federal cabinet members who deny climate change. Such denial would have devastating impacts on the environment, economy, and public health and safety. EFNC was with ~300 people who marched, held signs, and spoke about the importance of climate change recognition. Our own Ramona Rousseau-Reid added her grace, strength, and wise words to the podium of speakers!

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EFNC President Ramona Rousseau-Reid speaks out against climate change deniers during “Day of Denial” rally in Philadelphia. (Photo by Hanbit’s Contemplative Imaging)

The rally started at Senator Bob Casey’s office in center city Philadelphia, and culminated at Senator Pat Toomey’s office a few blocks away. Press covered the peaceful protest, and a few blocks around city hall were closed for a brief period of time.

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EFNC joins “Day of Denial” rally in Philadelphia with ~300 people protesting climate change deniers.  (Photo by Hanbit’s Contemplative Imaging)

Eastwick Friends & Neighbors Coalition urges everyone to hold their elected officials accountable to upholding environmental regulations. Your voices and votes matter!

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