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Project Drawdown


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Social Studies, Civics, Career Skills

Resource Types

  • Videos, 11 minutes, 19 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, Long Island

Alex Rodriguez: Building a Resilient Long Island Sound Region

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  • This video interview discusses the work of Alex Rodriguez, an environmental justice specialist in New York who works with Save the Sound, an organization dedicated to protecting the Long Island Sound from destruction. 
  • Students will hear about Alex's observations on environmental racism, activism, and stewardship, and there are discussion questions and suggested actions included.
Teaching Tips


  • The interviewee gives young people suggestions for how they can affect change.
  • Students will benefit from seeing marginalized groups, such as people of color and those identifying as non-binary, represented in the climate justice movement.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand what environmental racism is and the need for environmental justice.
  • Students may benefit from background knowledge about Hurricane Maria and its impact on Puerto Rico.


  • Social studies students can compare and contrast the responses to the hurricanes that impacted Texas and Puerto Rico. They can use the differences as evidence to explain the role environmental racism plays in increased natural hazards.
  • Students can design a virtual field trip to Long Island Sound, highlighting its need for protection.
  • Civics students can research and discuss how environmental justice movements lead to policy and law changes.
  • Students can research the education and experience needed to become an environmental justice specialist like the interviewee.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a video interview with Alex Rodriguez, an Environmental Justice Specialist in New York. Rodriguez touches on a number of environmental justice topics, such as environmental racism, extreme weather, public health, and stewardship. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.ES.9-10.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any false reasoning or distorted evidence.
      • SL.PE.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with peers on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
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