Share Your Prize Catch and Learn How to Eat Fish in a Healthier Way by Texting “Catch Of the Day”
Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER® and GROW 716 are piloting a mobile messaging campaign called “Catch Of the Day.” Anglers are encouraged to text COD to 877-877, which then directs them to online information about local fish consumption advisories and healthier ways to eat local fish. The campaign encourages picture sharing of their “catch” on the GROW 716 webpage to show the incredible success of Western New York anglers! RIVERKEEPER’s Environmental Justice program seeks to educate anglers and at risk populations about ways to reduce their risk when consuming locally caught fish. Anglers can view their catch online at the GROW 716 website and on the Riverkeeper facebook page throughout the summer.
"We are often asked about what individual citizens can do to contribute to Riverkeeper's restoration efforts," said Jill Jedlicka, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER Executive Director. "Thousands of people fish in Western New York waterways every day, and our Catch of the Day mobile messaging program is a quick and simple way for anglers to access local fish consumption advisories and to share much needed information about angling in Western New York."
While our region is on the road to transforming from Rust to Blue®, some contaminants from industrialization of our waterways still linger within our water-based food web. Due to these toxic remnants, some fish species and preparation methods pose health risks, especially to children and pregnant women. Fish Consumption Advisories are available through the Department of Environmental Conservation, however much of this information is not accessible to low literacy community members, as well as non-native speakers that these advisories never reach.
With local leaders from Jericho Road Ministries and Buffalo United Front, and others, Buffalo Niagara RIVERKEEPER has worked within these communities to translate fish advisories into five different languages, and create low literacy info-graphics. The guides provide information about who is more at risk, better fish choices, portion sizes, and recommendations for consumption frequency. Visit EatFishWNY.org or contact Ba Zan Lin, Environmental Justice Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain copies.
“This is a wonderful example of how organizations in Western New York are co-creating shared solutions for a more sustainable region while engaging citizens using new technologies,” said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. “Thanks to the support from our national partner, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, we are able to spotlight environmental issues and give people a voice and forum to make our region a more vibrant place.”
Funding for this program has been provided through the United States Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice Program, and the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. GROW 716, funded by the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo and the John S and James L. Knight Foundation, is a mobile messaging environmental advocacy campaign seeking to raise awareness about various local issues.