- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
A draft version of the National Lakes Assessment, the EPA's representative study on lakes under U.S. control will be released tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009, the agency said.
- The draft study rated the condition of 56 percent of the lakes in the United States as good and the remainder as fair or poor.
- Degraded lakeshore habitat, rated "poor" in 36 percent of lakes, was the most significant of the problems assessed.
- Removal of trees and shrubs and construction of docks, marinas, homes and other structures along shorelines all contributed to degraded lakeshore habitat.
- Nitrogen and phosphorous were found at high levels in 20 percent of lakes.
- The survey included a comparison to a subset of lakes with wastewater impacts that were sampled in the 1970s. It found that 75 percent showed either improvements or no change in phosphorus levels.
The study marked the first time the agency and its partners have used a nationally consistent approach to survey the ecological and water quality of lakes. A total of 1,028 lakes were randomly sampled during 2007 by states, tribes and EPA.
Sampling for the National Rivers and Streams Assessment is underway, and results from this two-year study are expected to be available in 2011.
UPDATE 12/18: Study linked below.