WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released EnviroAtlas, a web-based interactive tool that integrates over 300 separate data layers, helps decision makers understand the implications of planning and policy decisions on our fragile ecosystems and the communities who depend on goods and services from these ecosystems, according to a press release.
EnviroAtlas is designed for people from all levels of government, professionals, researchers, educators, non-governmental organizations and anyone interested in considering the benefits or impacts of a decision, such as siting a new road or city park, noted the release.
“Our health and well-being, our economy and our security depend upon healthy ecosystems,” says Bob Perciasepe, deputy administrator of EPA. “By providing EnviroAtlas, which contains a wealth of information for the United States, EPA is helping to ensure that anyone making decisions that may impact ecosystems will have the best available knowledge to build prosperous communities while conserving our natural resources.”
EnviroAtlas can help people learn about ecosystems, continued the release, and how they provide us with benefits such as clean air and water; opportunities for recreation; and protection from severe weather, such as hurricanes and floods.
According to the release, EnviroAtlas also highlights how ecosystems provide habitats for plants, fish and wildlife as well as the materials people need to produce food, clothing, shelter and pharmaceuticals, and provides maps on all of these topics.
Read the full release here.