PI, Prof. Sara A. Wylie

The Center for Research on Environmental and Social Stressors in Housing across the Life Course (CRESSH) began in 2018, and is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute of Health through the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The project aims to examine industrial contamination of waterways in Chelsea, particularly pollution from the numerous oil storage facilities throughout the city, through performative visualizations of the environmental data with the aim of highlighting the social, health, and environmental justice implications of the water pollution. The project team will work with the GreenRoots’ youth group (Environmental Chelsea Organizers (ECO) to come up with ways to visually represent the discharge from the oil storage facilities both over time and in aggregate via mediums such as long exposure photography. Through the public depictions of the water pollution impacting the city the project team hopes to engage Chelsea residents in investigating environmental justice issues and to support community conversations, led by GreenRoots, about alternative visions for Chelsea’s future.

Media Coverage

In October, 2018, the Wylie Lab’s research on Hydrogen Sulfide in Saskatchewan Canada was covered in two major news outlets. See below for more information and links to the articles!

  • Robert Cribb, Patti Sonntag, Michael Wrobel, and P.W Elliot. 2018. “‘Off the chart’ air quality readings in Saskatchewan’s southeast raise new concerns — but little public warning” Toronto Star. Tues October 16th.  To read more, click Here.
  • Robert Cribb, Patti Sonntag, Michael Wrobel, and P.W Elliot. 2018. “No fines. No public warning. And an ‘off the chart’ air quality indicator in Saskatchewan’s oil & gas country. Global News, Tues October 16th. To read more, click Here.

Storage facilities along the Chelsea Creek house all of the jet fuel used at Boston Logan Airport, 70-80 percent of the heating fuel used in New England, and road salt for more than 350 communities around the region. To help people visualize what that industrial burden means to the communities along the creek, the Open Water Data project created “Chemicals in the Creek,” a 2018 installation that released glowing lanterns representing water quality permit violations from local facilities onto the river, as part of a performance of local environmental challenges that informed a community conversation on these issues.

  • To view the MIT Media Lab youtube video coverage, “Visualizing environmental justice on the Chelsea Creek,” click Here.