Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month:Danielle Angeles

By Danielle Angeles

Growing up, I always took on a motherly role. From friends at school to younger family members, I always made sure that those around me were taken care of – whether they wanted it or not.

When I became a mother four years ago, my vision of the world drastically changed. I saw the world through a different pair of eyes — a world of health risks ranging from lead in children’s toys to pollution in our air and water. This vision gave me a glimpse of the world that I would be leaving to my son and future grandchildren. As a mother and a human being, I needed to protect my child not only from everyday dangers but from future environmental risks as well. To accomplish this, I needed to start making a difference at home and in the world. As we all know, pollution does not obey boundaries. The air we breathe and water we drink can be affected by actions and events around the world.

Working at EPA, I was able to see firsthand the struggles that under served communities face, particularly in Indian Country. I was able to see the challenges on reservations and the hard work that the tribal environmental programs do to protect their homelands from pollution. This work not only educated me on how to protect the environment, but encouraged me to try and assist in any way possible. As an environmental protection specialist, I provide resources to tribes to monitor the quality of their tribal waters and implement on-the-ground watershed restoration projects to reduce water pollution and improve water quality.

When I see that a tribe’s water quality has greatly improved, thanks to the assistance I provide as a employee, I am overjoyed. I know that not only have the tribal resources improved but the health of the community as well. Although a small creek is a small piece of the bigger problem, it is a beginning of a long journey to protect the world for our children.

About the author: Danielle Angeles is a project officer in the EPA Pacific Southwest Region (Region 9) Water Division’s Tribal Office. Danielle is a second generation Filipino American.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.