Citizens for a Healthy Bay Launches New Environmental Justice Program

New CHB staff members Kenny Coble and Emily Pinckney

Strengthening its efforts to engage the community in Puget Sound protection, CHB hires Kenny Coble as Environmental Justice Program Manager and Emily Pinckney as Community Justice Organizer

TACOMA, Wash. — In order to better represent the residents of Tacoma and to strengthen the organization’s efforts to protect Puget Sound, Citizens for a Healthy Bay (CHB) launched an environmental justice program today and announced Kenny Coble as the organization’s Environmental Justice Program Manager and Emily Pinckney as its Community Justice Organizer.

According to the EPA’s Environmental Justice webpage, “environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.” Environmental justice is achieved when “everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards, and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.”

“Environmental Justice is a core value of CHB,” said Melissa Malott, Executive Director of Citizens for a Healthy Bay. “We can no longer ignore the fact that low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are disproportionately burdened with toxins and pollution, have less access to waterfronts and forests, and have fewer chances to meaningfully participate in decision-making on environmental issues. This is a problem across the country and here in Tacoma. Protecting the environment doesn’t stop at the edge of a certain neighborhood – we must be advancing a clean environment and healthy community for all. We are proud to bring on Emily and Kenny, and their years of experience, to help us embody environmental justice more fully.”

“Having had the opportunity to study Marine Biology at university, I believe education is vital to true environmental empowerment,” said Emily Pinckney. “As a black female scientist, I am excited to apply a social justice lens to all of my work at Citizens for a Healthy Bay and the other environmental institutions we work with in Pierce County.”

“As someone who loves the work CHB does keeping the bay clean, advocating for environmental protections, and bringing people together for education and partnership, I’m excited to help bring in even more people to the work the organization is doing,” said Kenny Coble. “I’ve had a lot of fun and found a lot of meaning using social media and community organizing to increase civic engagement in Tacoma, primarily making sure people of color have leadership and decision-making roles in this work.”

Pinckney, raised in Tacoma, studied Marine Biology at Humboldt State University and Duke University and has previously interned at Fordham University and the City of Tacoma. Coble, born in Tacoma and raised in Lakewood and Federal Way, studied Communication at Multnomah University and is a bookseller at King’s Books in Tacoma and a freelance social media consultant. Both come from community organizing and activist backgrounds focused on environmental work and racial equity advocacy.


Melissa Malott, Executive Director,, (253) 444-7039

Citizens for a Healthy Bay is an environmental nonprofit organization whose mission is to represent and engage people in the cleanup, restoration and protection of Commencement Bay, the surrounding waters and our natural habitat.

Citizens for a Healthy Bay was formed in 1990 to represent Tacomans in the Superfund cleanup of Commencement Bay – at the time one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country. Thanks to the efforts of CHB and the community, parts of the bay that were once dead zones due to industrial waste are now recovering.


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