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
The coalition known as "Think Babies Michigan" has secured more than $36 million in funding to offer grants to child-care providers for infants and to…
Nearly 100 school board elections are coming up in Minnesota this fall, with some gaining attention because of the candidates who are running…
The so-called conservative "hostile takeover" of a small, progressive liberal arts college in Florida is seeing some resistance from former students …
High rent prices are draining the budgets of many Nebraska renters, who are paying between 30% and 50% of their income on rent. In some parts of the …
As the federal government nears a shutdown over a budget impasse in Congress, Wisconsin offices that help low-income individuals worry they'll have …
Indigenous leaders are traveling through the Northwest to highlight the plight of dwindling fish populations in the region. The All Our Relations …
Washington performs well in a new report scoring states' long-term care systems. The Evergreen State ranked second in AARP's Long-Term Services and …
A lack of housing options, mental-health challenges and a lack of connections and support have combined to drive an uptick in the number of foster …