In 2010 EPA initiated a survey and assessment of 1,500 randomly selected coastal areas throughout the conterminous U.S. for the National Coastal Conditions Assessment (NCCA) phase of the multi-year National Aquatic Resource surveys (NARS). The study will provide statistically valid estimates of the ecological condition of Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes coastal waters by analyzing aquatic communities, water quality data, and associated ecological data. GLEC field crews will survey 193 sites in the Great Lakes during the 2010 field season. GLEC has also delivered training to other survey teams, helped write and design the NCCA field operations manual and project Quality Assurance Plan, and will support management of lab analyses and field data. The NARS program began in 2003 and includes assessments of U.S. rivers and streams, lakes and reservoirs, and wetlands. GLEC also contributed to the content and design of the National Lakes Assessment and Wadeable Streams Assessment reports.
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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.