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Sea level rise and pollution in South Wilmington

Jan. 27, 2015--An interdisciplinary research team working with Wilmington’s Southbridge community on environmental issues, has released results of a survey showing that more than half the residents have serious concerns about pollution and sea level rise.

The survey, which was administered at various community events in the South Wilmington neighborhood, found that 50.6 percent of residents who responded were greatly concerned about pollution and that about 59 percent described sea level rise as a very serious or extremely serious issue.

The low-income, largely African-American community of about 2,000 residents is the type of neighborhood that often is left out of discussions about topics such as sea level rise, said Victor Perez, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, who has been working with the team and local residents for about 18 months.

“Coastal communities with higher-priced homes are more often at the center of sea level rise concerns,” Perez said. “But it’s well documented that Southbridge is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise.”