The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published an assessment that identifies cities with the highest concentrations of biodiversity.
The agency identified more than 20 of the nation’s top 10 ecological parks, as well as more than 50 of the 10 most ecotourist-friendly cities.
The report’s co-author, U.N. Environment Program Director Janis A. Schmitz, said the cities identified as eco-friendly have more diverse and vibrant ecosystems than other cities.
“There’s really no single city that’s safe from pollution, but we can all be more mindful of what’s going on around us,” Schmitzen told ABC News.
“There’s so much going on in cities, especially in the United States, that we need to pay attention to that.”
Schmitz’s group looked at the effects of pollution and other environmental factors, including climate change, on the biodiversity of different neighborhoods and communities.
They found that cities with more diverse ecosystems tend to have lower pollution levels and cleaner air.
The report also identified some of the most livable cities in the country, including San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C. The cities also have the lowest rates of poverty, while also having a higher percentage of women than any other metropolitan area.
Schmitzen said the findings show that a community’s environmental health is a result of a mix of factors, not a single factor.
“A lot of people might say the climate is one of the key things,” she said.
“But we also have to take into account the amount of human activity, our economic activity, which affects our ecosystem.”
Schampz said that the data also shows that cities that are diverse and ecologically successful tend to be more ecologically friendly.
“They tend to produce healthier ecosystems that are more resilient to climate change,” she added.
“That means we have a stronger resilience to pollution and climate change than other places.”
The report comes as Congress grapples with the issue of climate change.
Many cities are already dealing with extreme weather events that threaten the environment, including flooding and droughts.
And some cities have seen drastic declines in the number of animals that live in their parks and urban areas, like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and the Great Lakes National Park.
The EPA said it was pleased to see that cities are embracing the benefits of diversity.
“Our focus is on the communities and the ecosystems of the United Kingdom, France, and Germany, as they are the leaders of this transformation,” said EPA Acting Administrator Daniel P. Myers.