The largest surveillance and monitoring vessel on the Great Lakes is in Rochester.
The “Lake Guardian” is spending all of 2018 on Lake Ontario, to monitor activities in the water, sediment, air and fish using state-of-the-art equipment on board the 180-foot vessel, according to the EPA’s public affairs officer, Michael Basile.
“So that EPA and our binational counterpart, Environment Canada and Climate Change, Ontario Province, as well as the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation can look at the data and treat things necessary along the ecosystem,” he said.
Basile says scientists can look at a variety of samples in several on-board laboratories.
“We have laboratories that are on this 180-foot vessel. It’s truly a state-of-the-art vessel, and we can look at real-time data from what we’ve sampled in an afternoon or evening activity,” he said.
The EPA says the priority of monitoring Lake Ontario is to improve the understanding of nutrients entering the Lake Ontario ecosystem and their impacts on water quality and the aquatic food web.
Basile adds it’s critically important to understand the health of any lake, including Lake Ontario, so that we can better protect it and maintain and enhance the ecological services provided to that lake.
After a year monitoring Lake Ontario, the EPA will make public a summary of its findings.