|The Community Action for a Renewed Environment (CARE) program is designed by the EPA to help communities work at the local level to address the risks from multiple sources of toxic's in their environment. Through CARE, the MCECC will maintain cooperative and collaborative partnerships to address toxic concerns specific to Muskegon County as prioritized by the community. Prioritized toxic concerns in Muskegon include: Great Lakes fish consumption issues; drinking water supply and contamination; lead paint contamination in homes built before 1970; and outdoor air contaminates and industrial air borne emissions. The EPA will be participating in this project by providing technical support and federal funding to the MCECC, which will demonstrate a reduction in toxic concerns through a community action agenda.
Determination of toxic concerns were assessed through an Muskegon County Health Department environmental assessment conducted in 2002 with a grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).
CARE Grant: Fish Initiative... Preparing locally caught fish for safer consumption
In June, children from Orchard View Parks and Recreation Summer Program were given the opportunity to learn how to clean fish for safer eating. The following day, they were asked to draw pictures of what they learned on how to clean fish. The children, ages 6 through 15, enjoyed the project and came up with some artistic drawings of what they learned.
These pictures were then used for an educational sign that is now posted throughout the County at parks and boat launches. Signs were posted by Muskegon County Parks Department, posting 5 signs at Blue Lake County Park, Meinert County Park, Moore County Park, Pioneer County Park and Twin Lake County Park. Five signs were given to City of Muskegon, Leisure Services, and are scheduled to be put up in Spring '08 at Grand Trunk Launch Ramp, Cottage Grove Boat Launch, Hartshorn Boat Launch, Fisherman's Landing and Great Lakes Marina. Three signs were distributed and mounted in the City of Whitehall at Mill Pond Peninsula, Goodrich Park and Covell Park.
These sheets were developed to assist Michigan State University Extension nutrition instructors in Muskegon County for delivering
lessons on eating and preparing locally caught fish. MSUE nutrition
instructors reach many low-income residents as well young mothers on assistance, teaching them many valuable lessons on nutrition, food safety and ways in which they can stretch the food dollar while providing balanced, nutritious meals for their families.
Raising Lead Awareness
Through the funding of the EPA CARE grant, three billboards have made their statement in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. Lead poisoning is a serious problem in Muskegon and Muskegon Heights. Through efforts of raising awareness by encouraging and promoting lead testing, it is the intent that parents will have their child tested and take the necessary steps to further keep their children lead-free.