Environment and Geography2018-12-03T20:05:23+00:00

Environment and Geography

The environment affects and is affected by a number of choices people and communities make that range from how to live, how to get to work, how to purchase goods and services, and where to build homes to mention just a few. Environmental quality directly affects the health and well-being of all residents and the ecosystem. For instance, energy consumption impacts the environment through the emission of greenhouse gases and atmospheric pollutants from fossil fuel combustion.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Air Resources Control Board, California Almanac of Emissions and Air Quality.

Land converted to urban use

Area 2004-2006 2010-2012 2014-2016
Merced 1,959 437 2,142
Stanislaus 1,765 369 1,481
San Joaquin 4,497 2,295 1,806
NSJV 8,221 3,101 5,429

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Department of Conservation, Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program. The data presented in this table shows the net farmland lost to urban development. That is, the amount of farmland converted to urban use, minus the amount of urban land converted to farmland.

Acres of protected open space

Area Protected open space Open space per capita Percent of total area
Merced 106,348 0.399 8.6%
San Joaquin 18,288 0.026 2.1%
Stanislaus 55,144 0.104 5.8%
NSJV 179,780 0.119 5.8%

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Protected Areas Database, and the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The acreage of open space obtained from the California Protected Areas Database for each county was divided by the population obtained from the ACS to arrive at open space per capita.

Data for this indicator was obtained from the California Protected Areas Database.