Essex County comprises the entire Essex region, which drains directly into Lake Erie and the Detroit River. The region is 1,852km2/715mi2 and is home to 181,000 people. The Essex and Thames regions are all part of the Carolinian Canada forest zone, a unique ecological region that contains more plant and animal species than any other Canadian ecosystem. Most of this historically diverse landscape has been lost to urban development, timber, or agricultural clearing. As much as 97% of wetland area and 95% of forest area has been lost, resulting in a degraded ecosystem.*

The Essex region score was based on six indicators with adequate data. The highest-scoring indicator was fish consumption, and the lowest-scoring indicator was dissolved phosphorus. Read more about the individual indicator scores here.

* Based on the Essex Region Natural Heritage System Strategy.