You’ve likely wondered what the air and water quality was around you, and how it could be impacting your health— but it’s unlikely that you have ever truly known the exact levels of toxicity. In 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency put out a search engine called MyEnvironment, where the user can search for a location in the United States and receive a cross-section of environmental data and graphs around various metrics including air, water, energy, health, climate and land, as well as community resources and environmental reports. These metrics not only provide environmental data like toxicity levels, UV-indices, current ozone, and emission levels, but also actionable information like clean diesel programs and clean drinking water sources near your location. Considering that Flint, Michigan and many other areas throughout the United States including a large number of Indigenous reserves, still do not have clean drinking water, this could be an extremely useful app for monitoring water quality and determining if it needs to be boiled on any single day. All of this data can be superimposed on an interactive map of the specified area, which can also be downloaded as common geofile types for further map creation as a bonus. Environmental datasets for MyEnvironment have been continuously updated every year. As our climate continues to change, search engines like MyEnvironment could be incredibly useful for people all around the globe, especially if it can be done in real-time, something MyEnvironment has yet to achieve.


Citizen Science, Climate Change, Data, Ecological Monitoring, Lifestyle