Graduate Project

Natural Resource Management in East Palo Alto

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  • East Palo Alto is a small working-class community of color in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though the community has rich agrarian roots, fertile soil, and good weather, racially-charged policies have influenced East Palo Alto’s development and significantly impacted the state of natural resources in the city in stark contrast to the economic and prosperity of surrounding cities. This paper reviews and analyzes East Palo Alto’s history through a socioeconomic and environmental justice lens. East Palo Alto faces several issues common across similar urban and suburban communities of color, such as sea level rise, environmental injustice, and gentrification. The natural resources focused on in this paper are vegetation, as represented by the urban forest and bayland vegetation, and water, represented by San Francisquito Creek, drinking water, and the San Francisco Bay. The paper concludes with recommendations on improving natural resource management in East Palo Alto.
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