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NEVADA CITY, CA February 13, 2020 – Did you know that residents in our region are at risk of exposure to pollutants and contaminants as a result of historic land-use practices dating to the Gold Rush era? Local nonprofit, The Sierra Fund, has recently released an anonymous online survey, in English and Spanish, designed to gauge community understanding of the unique environmental health impacts associated with the Gold Country. These include (1) mercury exposure through the consumption of locally-caught contaminated fish; (2) exposure to dust with heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and asbestos; (3) water quality and access needs; and (4) wildfire threats and associated dangerous air quality.

The Sierra Fund’s mission is to restore ecosystem and community resiliency in the Sierra Nevada. The purpose of their Environmentally Healthy Communities Program is to promote public health in a region with multiple exposure pathways to legacy environmental health hazards. The Sierra Fund has developed a suite of projects to increase community access to information and resources that protect public health. Their goal now is to identify the greatest concerns of the communities they serve and to ensure that vulnerable populations are empowered to protect themselves from environmental health hazards.

By surveying the community, The Sierra Fund hopes to effectively and responsively promote community health in our area. The survey was first administered to the public at The Sierra Fund’s 2018 Environmental Health Summit, held in Grass Valley. Since that time, The Sierra Fund has gathered Environmental Health Surveys from over 130 English-speaking and 30 Spanish-speaking community members.

The survey can be found at the following links:

English Version: https://www.sierrafund.org/community-environmental-health-survey/

Spanish Version: https://www.sierrafund.org/encuesta-comunitaria-sobre-la-salud-ambiental/

Please take a few minutes to take this 30 question survey and share the link broadly so that data can be gathered and targeted public health solutions can be developed in a region impacted by the Gold Rush.

To learn more about The Sierra Fund’s work or to get involved, visit their website at www.sierrafund.org.