Interactive Hanford Story Teaches about Nuclear Site's Threat to Columbia River
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
The Hanford Nuclear Site on the Columbia River in central Washington has left a complex legacy for the region.
An interactive story map imagines what a water droplet would see if it passed through the site to help young people understand how Hanford affects the environment.
Lisa Muñoz, outreach coordinator for Columbia Riverkeeper, the group behind the story map, called Hanford the "most contaminated place in the Western Hemisphere," and a threat to the waters of the Columbia. Muñoz noted the content about Hanford hazards is most often in English, although the nearby Tri-Cities area has a large Spanish-speaking population.
"So if we want everyone to have an equal opportunity to engage with the cleanup of Hanford, we really have to have clearly written materials that are accessible in their preferred language," Muñoz explained.
The Hanford Nuclear Site is decommissioned, but cleanup of the area will take generations to complete. Columbia Riverkeeper's story map, called "Water's Walk Through Hanford," is designed for middle and high school-age students.
Ivonne Romero translated the story into Spanish and said it is designed to be accessible not only to young people, but their families as well. She noted the story has stuck with her.
"I finished the translation over a month ago, but I cannot stop thinking about the importance of preserving our habitat," Romero remarked. "But also the pressing need for developing energy and creating energy in ways that are probably less deleterious to humankind."
Muñoz added it is important for young people to know about Washington's nuclear site because they are part of the river communities facing continued risks from nuclear waste.
"Hanford is a multigenerational cleanup. It's going to be there in a hundred years," Muñoz stressed. "The future of Hanford will ultimately depend on the next generation advocating for cleanup that is thorough and just."
get more stories like this via email
By Jake Christie for Great Lakes Echo. Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection, reporting for Great Lakes Echo/Solutions …
By Gabes Torres for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Kathryn Carley for Maine News Service, reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
Tribal leaders from the eight federally recognized tribes in Utah gathered at a news conference at the state Capitol this week and called on state law…
Ohio's teachers are applauding the governor's recently announced plan to overhaul the state's reading curriculum for elementary schoolers and boost re…
As the economy has changed with the pandemic in the past few years, Indiana's small communities have seen an exodus of jobs and people. However…
By Lisa Held for Civil Eats. Broadcast version by Eric Tegethoff for Big Sky Connection, reporting for Civil Eats/Solutions Journalism/Public News …
Students who are also parents face more challenges getting through college, but support for these students is getting an upgrade at Bowie State …
Arizona State University, YouTube and the video channel Crash Course have announced a partnership to offer a series of online courses for college …