Great Lakes Environmental Center

Applied Water Quality & Environmental Sciences

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Who We Are

Great Lakes Environmental Center, Inc. (GLEC) is an established national contracting firm offering applied environmental sciences, research, and compliance assistance focused on water quality and the protection of aquatic ecosystems. GLEC has grown steadily in each year of its existence, delivering services and solutions to government and commercial clients throughout North America. The dedicated employee-owners at GLEC often set the standard in their respective fields by consistently applying our core philosophies of scientific excellence, corporate responsibility, environmental stewardship, and dedication to fulfilling client needs. Our unique experience serving both regulatory agencies and the regulated community translates into viable, insightful, and creative solutions to complex environmental challenges.

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Clean Water Act 316(b) and 316(a) Compliance Services

GLEC services include site-specific  surveys, assessments, sampling, and monitoring programs to help power generation and industrial firms attain CWA 316(b) and 316(a) regulatory compliance. GLEC researchers are experts in aquatic ecology, wetland ecology, vertebrate and invertebrate biology, aquatic toxicology, environmental chemistry, habitat assessment, GIS and regulatory agency interaction.  Our 316(b) and 316(a) services include:

• Fish Impingement Mortality Studies
• Turbine Survival Studies 
• Endangered Species Surveys 
• Thermal Plume Surveys
• Habitat Assessments
• Water Quality Monitoring
• Turbine Survival Studies
• Fisheries Assessments


GLEC owns and operates a wide array of boats, vehicles, and field equipment to support field studies and sediment and water quality investigations. Our Michigan and Ohio laboratories provide aquatic toxicity testing, bioaccumulation and bioconcentration studies.

In The News

  • GLEC Team to Conduct USEPA 2020 National Coastal Condition Assessment
    October 1, 2019

    GLEC received two major task order awards from the USEPA Office of Water to conduct field sampling and coordinate training and logistics for the 2020 National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA). The NCCA is one of four surveys under EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program.  The ongoing NARS program was instituted in 2007 and is designed to assess the ecological health and condition of U.S. coastal waters, lakes, wetlands, and rivers and streams. GLEC will lead a team including four other research organizations to conduct some 680 visits to sites designated for contractor support in 11 states bordering Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, and Pacific coastal waters.  NCCA field sampling data and indicators include water chemistry, benthic macroinvertebrates, sediment composition and toxicity, fish tissue, presence of pathogens, and characterization of physical habitat. The 2020 NCCA GLEC team includes EnviroScience, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, University of Houston, and Amnis Opes Institute.   A similar number of site visits will be conducted by state and federal agency field crews in other coastal states to complete the 2020 field sampling season.   

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  • GLEC Team to Conduct 2018-2019 National Rivers and Streams Assessment
    September 20, 2017

    GLEC was awarded a competitive Task Order by the USEPA Office of Water to conduct field sampling for the 2018-2019 National Rivers and Streams Assessment (NRSA). The NRSA is a major element of four ongoing surveys under EPA’s multi-year National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program designed to assess the ecological health and condition of U.S. waters. The $5.4 million award follows GLEC’s field sampling, logistics, and training support for the NARS 2017 National Lakes Assessment. The GLEC NRSA 2018-2019 contracting team includes EnviroScience, Inc., the Amnis Opes Institute, and the Midwest Biodiversity Institute. Field crews from all four organizations plan to sample some 940 wadeable stream and larger river sites throughout the conterminous U.S. during the 2018 and 2019 survey seasons. Water, river beds and riparian habitats will be sampled and assessed for a variety of chemical and biological indicators, including nutrients, benthic macroinvertebrates, periphyton, chlorophyll, fish tissue, and fecal indicators.

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  • GLEC Continues Support for USEPA Drinking Water Monitoring Program
    September 11, 2017

    The 1996 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act established an unregulated contaminant monitoring program by which public water systems (PWSs) monitor, on a five-year cycle, for up to 30 contaminants considered to be potential drinking water contaminants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water, Office of Groundwater and Drinking Water is responsible for implementing this program under the applicable Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule (UCMR). UCMR program outcomes benefit public health by providing EPA with scientifically valid data on the national occurrence of selected contaminants in drinking water for use in regulatory action. In August 2017, GLEC was awarded a six year $11.4 million contract to provide UCMR technical support. Support includes: designing and implementing the monitoring program; coordinating with states/tribes/territories and individual PWSs; designing sampling logistics; assembly and distribution of sampling equipment; tracking sampling and analysis completeness; outreach and education; laboratory oversight and data quality review; evaluation of results; and compliance assistance to water system operators. This is the fourth UCMR support contract awarded to GLEC since 2000.

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GLEC operates one of only a few U.S. laboratories accredited for whole sediment toxicity testing. GLEC also maintains NELAP accreditation for chlorophyll and nutrient chemistry testing.

Great Lakes Environmental Center

739 Hastings Street
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 941-2230
Fax: (231) 941-2240