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National Coastal Condition Assessment 2010

The final National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA) 2010 is now available.  To better answer questions about the condition of waters across the country, EPA and its state and tribal partners have conducted a series of surveys under the National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS) program.  The NCCA 2010 is the most recent in this series of surveys. The key goals of the NCCA 2010 are to describe the ecological condition of the nation’s coastal and Great Lakes nearshore waters, how those conditions are changing, and the key stressors affecting those waters.  The survey uses a statistical design to sample 1,104 randomly-selected sites that represent the condition of the larger population of coastal waters in the conterminous United States.  This is the first time the nearshore waters of the Great Lakes have been included in a national statistically-based survey.

The report finds that more than half of the nation’s coastal and Great Lakes nearshore waters are rated in good condition for biological and sediment quality; while about one third are rated in good condition for water quality and less than one percent are rated in good condition based on the potential harm that fish tissue contaminants pose to predator fish, birds, and wildlife.  Excessive phosphorus is the greatest contributor to the poor water quality rating.  Selenium is the greatest contributor to the poor rating for potential harm to predator fish, birds and wildlife from fish tissue contaminants.

You may access the NCCA 2010 from EPA’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/national-aquatic-resource-surveys/ncca.