$200K EPA study will test air, water at Cocopah Head Start facility

By Nicholas Gerbis
Published: Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 1:06pm
Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2023 - 3:28pm
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Coverage of tribal natural resources is supported in part by Catena Foundation

Researchers from Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona are collaborating with the Cocopah Indian Tribe to assess environmental health issues at a Head Start and day care facility.

Concerns include possible air and water pollution from surrounding areas.

Researchers will measure air and water quality at the Cocopah Tribal Head Start and Day Care in Somerton, Arizona, located near tribal lands.

About 1,000 members of the River People live on or near the 6,500-acre Cocopah Reservation 13 miles south of Yuma.

Concerns include pesticides from non-Indigenous farmers, who lease much of the land, and air quality issues from trash-burning in nearby Los Algodones, Mexico.

The team consists of Native and non-Native Americans, and the project will include the broader Cocopah community in research and training.

The effort is funded by a $200,000 EPA grant.