Community Engagement Core (CEC)

Map of the Cape Fear River
basin, showing CEC community partners and PFAS sources.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water are challenging environmental and public health concerns for communities, policy makers, and scientists. PFAS are a broad chemical class representing over 3,000 chemicals; PFAS are valued for their non-stick properties and are used in many water- and stain-resistant products, as well as fire-fighting foam. The multiple chemicals classified as PFAS and a lack of toxicological and human health information make PFAS contamination a difficult issue for many communities to address. The Cape Fear River basin is the largest river basin in North Carolina. It provides drinking water for more than 1.5 million people and has been impacted by PFAS contamination from many sources. Our Center’s CEC will work to help communities impacted by PFAS contamination along the Cape Fear River become better equipped to address PFAS exposure and related environmental health concerns. The CEC will engage community organizations who are currently working to address PFAS in drinking water. We will work with these partners to measure social connectivity and assess and improve environmental health literacy, so that residents can make informed prevention and intervention decisions for improved environmental public health. Infrastructure, resources, and educational materials will be supplied by the CEC in order to increase the capacity of community organizations. Environmental Health Fellows, student SRP researchers and trainees will participate in CEC training and programming to improve their capability to collaborate with impacted communities. As best practices emerge, the CEC will contribute to community engaged scholarship.

Director: Katlyn May

CEC Coordinator: Grace Campbell