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National Lakes Assessment

Jo Vaughn and Emily Miller, lentic ecology technicians, at a site in Rockwall.
Jo Vaughn samples in Lake Meredith.
Cory Scanes, EIH research associate, at a site in White Rock Lake.
Jo Vaughn and Emily Miller, lentic ecology technicians, take a core sample in Pinkston Reservoir.
Jo Vaughn and Emily Miller, lentic ecology technicians, take a core sample in Pinkston Reservoir.
Lemon Reservoir
Jo Vaughn, EiH, and Laura Ryckman, TCEQ, at a site in Hays.
Soil Conservation Service Site 52 Reservoir


The Environmental Institute of Houston is conducting the National Lakes Assessment for Texas in the summer of 2017. The project is a national assessment coordinated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is a statistical survey of the condition of our nation's lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. It is designed to provide information on the extent of lakes that support healthy biological condition and recreation, estimate how widespread major stressors are that impact lake quality, and provide insight into the condition of lakes nationwide over time.

Study Area


Project Period



The NLA is designed to provide statistically valid national and regional estimates of the condition of lakes. It uses a probability-based sampling design to represent the condition of all lakes across the coterminous United States. 

The NLA is designed to answer the following questions about lakes across the United States.

  • What is the current biological, chemical, physical and recreational condition of lakes?
  • What is the extent of degradation among lakes?
  • Is degradation widespread (e.g., national) or localized (e.g., regional)?
  • Is the condition of lakes getting better, worse, or staying the same over time?
  • Which environmental stressors are most associated with degraded biological condition in lakes?

Project Sponsors

Related links

EPA: National Lakes Assessment


  • Environmental Institute of Houston

    Phone: 281-283-3950

    North Office Annex
    2700 Bay Area Blvd, Box 540
    Houston, TX 77058-1002