Ship Background

The R/V Lake Guardian is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s largest research and monitoring vessel. The ship sails among all five of the Great 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 USEPA Great Lakes National Program Office (GLNPO) manages the ship’s operations from their Chicago-based office.

The USEPA is dedicated to ensuring a healthy Great Lakes ecosystem. The best available scientific information is needed to achieve this objective. Thus, the Lake Guardian provides EPA scientists and guest researchers with state-of-the-art sampling and laboratory equipment to successfully monitor, assess, and protect the Great Lakes.

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 2018 sampling season has begun! See the full schedule here »

Read 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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