The Duwamish is not only Seattle’s only river, and the original home of its first Native American people, it is now also an industrial waterway classified as one of the nation’s worst toxic waste sites and one of the few federal Superfund cleanup sites in the country to bisect a major urban area.
Through this project, InvestigateWest’s Carol Smith examined how this confluence of factors – location, history and industry – has shaped the health of the communities that have grown up around the river. While reams of data have looked at the health of the river, much less is known about the health of the people who depend on or live near its waters. Smith was a 2010 recipient of the national California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship from the University of Southern Calfornia’s Annenberg School of Journalism. This project was done in conjunction with her fellowship and also appeared in www.seattlepi.com.
Carol, an experienced health journalist, was able to dig deep and find some fascinating public health data to illustrate what living in a Superfund site can do to the people who call it home.