Research Background

The USEPA is committed to protecting the integrity of the Great Lakes ecosystem. To that end, the USEPA’s R/V Lake Guardian is used to collect data about the physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the Great Lakes. The ship cruises the waters of all five lakes typically from late March through early October.

Researchers from government agencies and universities use the ship’s facilities to collect and analyze samples of water, aquatic life, sediments, and air. The work of these scientists has generated baseline and historical data sets, as well as highlighted emerging issues, all leading to a better understanding of the dynamics of the lakes. Their research and monitoring are necessary for making sound management decisions for the health of the Great Lakes ecosystem by providing the best information available.

Interested in conducting research on board the Lake Guardian? Visit the USEPA website »

The R/V Lake Guardian sails on behalf of the USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office, gathering environmental data to gauge the health of Great Lakes.

What's Happening?

The 2017 sampling season kicks off March 25 on Lake Michigan. See the full schedule here »

Read a great story about the Lake Guardian and Captain Mallard in the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant newsroom »

Check out a social media recap of the 2016 Summer Survey »

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