Significance: The COTC guides the entire CRECE Center in its efforts to provide critical resources on environmental health for Puerto Rico, where there is little infrastructure for environmental health knowledge production or reporting. Specifically, the COTC translates emerging environmental health knowledge generated from the Center’s scientific work into strategies for prevention and policy change in collaboration with study participants, health providers, environmental advocates and other stakeholders.
The COTC additionally engages a group of local health professionals, parents and guardians, and community organizations, such as COTICAM (Steering Committee for Environmental Quality), a non-profit organization working on citizen awareness of issues central to the protection of Puerto Rico’s environment, to serve on a community advisory board (CAB). This board ensures that the scientific findings from the Center are effectively reported back to communities in understandable and actionable ways. By disseminating materials from national groups such as the Children’s Environmental Health Network, and local community based organizations, as well as developing our own education materials, CRECE’s COTC enhances environmental education on the island. The COTC’s activities strengthen existing connections and build new collaborations with local community organizations that have been involved in environmental health education and environmental justice advocacy.