The NCCA 2015 will generate data regarding the benthic infauna of the Great Lakes and coastal waters.

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 bioassessment, working on such projects for nearly two decades. The company has supported the EPA’s regional and national surveys almost every year since 1999, beginning with the western Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program pilot project.

In the years since, EcoAnalysts has provided taxonomy services covering each of the habitats assessed by the EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys: lakes, rivers and streams, coastal and wetlands. The company demonstrated that it has the expertise and resources necessary to handle a large volume of benthic samples that generally require the capabilities of many taxonomy labs.

“EcoAnalysts will provide benthic macroinvertebrate sample processing for NCCA 2015.”

With such credentials, EcoAnalysts was chosen to work on the 2010 National Coastal Condition Assessment, one of the EPA’s large-scale NARS projects. After confirming yet again the high caliber of bioassessment services and a commitment to excellence, the company has been contracted for the NCCA 2015.

EcoAnalysts’ role in the NCCA 2015

PG Environmental holds the prime contract with the EPA for the NARS and is subcontracting to EcoAnalysts. The PG Environmental/EcoAnalysts team has time and again achieved great success, and this proven track record was among the reasons that the EPA awarded the NCCA 2015 task order to the PG Environmental.

In the 2015 NCCA, EcoAnalysts will analyze samples collected from 50 different sites in the Great Lakes in fall 2014, followed by more from coastal sampling that will take place in 2015. EcoAnalysts will provide taxonomic analysis of nearly 1,000 benthic infauna samples collected from the West Coast, Gulf Coast, East Coast and Great Lakes. EcoAnalysts will provide complete sort and identification of benthic samples to the lowest practical taxonomic level, generally genus or species.

Coastal watersEcoAnalysts will analyze about 1,000 benthic infauna samples collected during coastal and marine sampling.

Adding value to the EPA’s program

The data that EcoAnalysts generates will aid the EPA in reaching its goals for the NARS and, more specifically, the NCCA. The NCCA aims to find answers to two vital questions concerning the quality of the coastal waters:

  • What percent of the coastal waters are in poor, fair or good condition in terms of water quality, ecological health and recreational use?
  • What is the relative importance of nutrients, contaminated sediments and other key stressors?

The NCCA is just one of several National Aquatic Resource Surveys, occurring on a five-year rotating basis, undertaken by the EPA, states and tribes. These partners collaborate to study the coasts, lakes, streams, rivers, wetlands and reservoirs to create reports relevant to the environment. The aim of the NCCA 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 in water quality over time.
  • Encourage collaboration among governments for the management and improvement of the nation’s waters.
  • Support state and tribal water quality monitoring and analysis initiatives.

EcoAnalysts is pleased to assist the EPA and PG Environmental with the 2015 NCCA aquatic resource survey. If you are interested in more information about our marine taxonomy services, please contact us.