8/10/12

Sea Grant staff take to the sea for research

Community outreach specialist Kristin TePas rinses a
PONAR dredge used to collect sediment containing
benthic organisms.
IISG staff members Paris Collingsworth and Kristin TePas are sailing on the research vessel Lake Guardian this week on both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, assisting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with its annual monitoring program. The USEPA’s Great Lakes National Program Office is responsible for monitoring the offshore water quality for all five of the Great Lakes in order to assess their health. The water quality surveys take place every spring and summer and include, among other things, assessments for phosphorus and dissolved oxygen in the open waters, as well as phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic (bottom-dwelling) organisms.

IISG Great Lakes ecosystem specialist
Paris Collingsworth deploys a net to
collect zooplankton.
From the U.S. EPA:
“The Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is responsible for monitoring the offshore water quality of the Great Lakes to evaluate water quality over time and identify any emerging water quality problems. Comprehensive water quality surveys are conducted in all five Great Lakes in both the spring, when the water is cold and well mixed, and in the summer, when the lakes are biologically active. The R/V Lake Guardian is currently being used to conduct the summer water quality survey.”
More information about the EPA’s Great Lakes monitoring program is available at their site.

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