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U.S. - Mexico Border Environmental Health Initiative

The diverse, fragile ecosystems of the borderlands have been pushed beyond sustainable levels due to rapid population growth and land use changes.  Water shortages and pollution, poor air quality, increased soil salinities, residual pesticides, and heavy metal contaminants are some of the stressors that are degrading the quality of life in the borderlands.

map showing United States and Mexico border
The USGS Boarder Environmental Health Initiative (BEHI) encompasses the entire US-Mexico border region. (Public domain.)

The relationship between human health and environmental quality challenges public officials, medical professionals and resource managers on both sides of the border in their efforts to maintain healthy communities. To help understand the relationship between environmental and human health, the U.S. Geological Survey’s U.S.-Mexico Border Environmental Health Initiative (BEHI) describes, documents, and depicts environmental quality along the US -Mexico border through integration of US and Mexican datasets. This multi-discipline initiative includes collaboration from U.S. and Mexican government agencies. A second goal of this initiative is to foster and support the use of these integrated datasets to examine and analyze the linkages between human health and environmental health.

This project provides multi-disciplinary science and monitoring data to examine the Role of Environment and Wildlife in Human Health.  A major goal of this project is to provide science data in support of Environmental Health studies in the U.S.-Mexico Border region to enable scientists, public health officials, resource managers, and concerned citizens to make informed decisions.