EcoAnalysts awarded contract for 2015 National Coastal Condition Assessment

As a leader in aquatic bioassessment services, EcoAnalysts is the go-to organization for large-scale taxonomy projects. EcoAnalysts proved its skills and expertise in 2010 when it took part in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's fifth installment of the National Coastal Condition Assessment.

The massive volume of taxonomy samples required efficient and methodological analysis that would require the capabilities of many taxonomy labs, a vast scope and breadth of analysis that only a company with the resources and commitment to excellence of EcoAnalysts could successfully undertake.

The demonstrated qualifications of EcoAnalysts was the primary reason that the EPA awarded a NCAA 2015 contract to PG Environmental. PG has time and again achieved great success in the field with the help of EcoAnalysts, which will be doing 100 percent of the analysis work on the NCAA 2015 project on a subcontract basis.

"EcoAnalysts will provide lab analysis for the 2015 NCCA."

NCCA sample collection and analysis
For the 2015 NCCA iteration, EcoAnalysts will analyze samples that were collected from 50 different sites in the Great Lakes in fall 2014, followed by more from coastal sampling that will take place in 2015. The sample sites are randomly selected to reflect the water conditions across each region, and half of the sites are from new locations not included in the 2010 project. After being collected by field crews and safely stored in formalin, they're shipped to EcoAnalysts' taxono­my laboratory, where a team of experts sort and identify the benthic samples.

For NCCA 2015, the goal is to produce the following results:

  • A complete sort and identification of benthic samples to their most precise taxonomy levels, generally according to genus/species.
  • A database of taxa lists, counts, identifications and associated metadata.

More about the NCCA
The NCCA is just one of many aquatic taxonomy surveys undertaken by the EPA, states and tribes, all interested in maintaining the quality and natural habitats of the nation's waters. These partners collaborate to study the lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands and reservoirs to create reports relevant to the environment. The aim of the NCAA and other such projects is to assess the condition of the country's water resources for the stewardship of those waters and, more specifically, to:

  • Assess the ecological integrity of regional and national waters as well as the recreational quality of the coasts.
  • Track changes to guage progress of water quality improvement. 
  • Encourage collaboration among governments for the management and improvement of the nation's waters.
  • Support state and tribal water monitoring and analysis initiatives. 

The 2015 NCCA will provide an abundance of relevant and useful data concerning the benthic infauna of the Great Lakes and coastal waters, as will future iterations of the water survey initiative. With extensive expertise and resources in taxonomy, EcoAnalysts is equipped to assist in future surveying and analysis projects and to help the EPA make informed decision for the management of the U.S. waters.

For the NCCA 2015, samples were collected from more than 50 sites in the Great Lakes.For the NCCA 2015, samples were collected from more than 50 sites in the Great Lakes.

EcoAnalysts offers a full range of services
Based out of Moscow, Idaho, EcoAnalysts has made a name for itself in the realm of taxonomy, providing comprehensive analysis of environmental samples around the world. A team of experienced and extensively trained taxonomists specialize in freshwater, estuarine, shallow and deepwater marine environments with the capabilities of handling everything from phytoplankton to zooplankton to fish communities.

Taxonomy lab analysis is just one part of the broad scope of services that makes EcoAnalysts a one-stop taxonomy shop. We also conduct field sampling, invasive species surveys and threatened invertebrate surveys as well as aquatic ecology research, monitoring and consulting. No matter the project at hand, EcoAnalysts aims to apply its more than 20 years of experience, rigorous sampling and precise analysis methods to provide accurate information to aid clients in decision-making that will ultimately affect the world's natural resources.