The U.S. EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program is an ongoing statistical survey and assessment of the condition of the Nation’s surface waters. Each annual survey is designed to generate statistically valid estimates of the ecological health of water bodies through sampling a representative assemblage of aquatic community, water quality, human health and associated ecological data. The NARS surveys are divided into national assessments of rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs, coastal areas, and wetlands. GLEC has supported all of the NARS surveys since they began in 2003.
The first NARS National Lakes Assessment survey was conducted in 2007. In 2012, EPA directed the second lakes field survey which sampled 1,245 randomly selected lakes and reservoirs throughout the conterminous U.S. As in 2007, GLEC field crews and scientists provided major support for the lakes assessment. Program design and planning work by GLEC included developing field methods, quality documents, and operations manuals. GLEC trained field crews and other trainers in preparation for the 2012 season and coordinated supplies and sampling logistics once the season was underway. GLEC field crews surveyed lakes in Texas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota and Massachusetts.
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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.