[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 245 (Wednesday, December 23, 2009)]
[Pages 68266-68267]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-30494]




National Lakes Assessment Draft Report

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given for a 30-day public review and comment 
period on the draft report of the National Lakes Assessment (NLA). The 
National Lakes Assessment draft report describes the results of the 
nationwide probabilistic lake survey that was conducted in the summer 
of 2007. EPA and its state/tribal partners looked at the biological, 
trophic, recreational and habitat conditions in lakes of the 
conterminous United States. The NLA report includes information on how 
the survey was implemented, what the findings were on a national and 
ecoregional scale, implications for

[[Page 68267]]

resource managers, and future actions and challenges.

DATES: Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. January 22, 2010.

ADDRESSES: E-mail your comments to lakessurvey@epa.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol Peterson, Assessment and 
Watershed Protection Division, Office of Water, Washington, DC; Phone: 
202-566-1304; e-mail: peterson.carol@epa.gov.

    To better answer questions about the condition of waters across the 
country, EPA and its state and tribal partners have embarked on a 
series of surveys under the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) 
program. The program will provide actual data and information vital to 
understanding water quality conditions across the country and how these 
conditions vary with geographic setting as well as human and natural 
influences. NARS program goals are to:
     Generate scientifically valid and environmentally relevant 
information on the condition of lake resources
     Determine national and regional ecological and 
recreational well-being of lakes
     Establish baseline information for future trends 
     Identify key stressors to lake health and explore the 
relative importance of these stressors.
    The NLA provides unbiased estimates of the condition of natural and 
man-made freshwater lakes, ponds, and reservoirs greater than 10 acres 
and at least one meter deep. Using a statistical survey design, lakes 
were selected at random to represent the condition of the larger 
population of lakes across the lower 48 states. A total of 1,028 lakes 
were sampled for the NLA during summer 2007, representing the condition 
of 50,000 lakes nationwide. The Great Lakes and Great Salt Lake were 
not included in the survey.
    The NLA finds that 56% of the nation's lakes support healthy 
biological communities when compared to least disturbed sites in 
similar regions. Another 21% of lakes are in fair condition, and 22% 
are in poor biological condition. This rating is based on an index of 
phytoplankton and zooplankton taxa loss--the percentage of taxa 
observed compared to those that are expected, based on conditions at 
least disturbed lakes.
    The draft report has undergone State and EPA review. EPA, through 
this public review, is seeking comment on the information contained in 
the draft report, the reasonableness of the conclusions, and the 
clarity with which the information is presented. You may view and 
download the draft report from EPA's Web site at http://www.epa.gov/owow/lakes/lakessurvey.

    Dated: December 17, 2009.
Peter S. Silva,
Assistant Administrator for Water.
[FR Doc. E9-30494 Filed 12-22-09; 8:45 am]