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About EPA

About the Gulf Ecology Division (GED) of EPA's National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory

Testing a pump in preparation for field samplingTesting a pump in preparation for field samplingGulf Of Mexico Hypoxia researchGulf Of Mexico Hypoxia research cruisePlasma collection from sheepshead minnowPlasma collection from sheepshead minnowWorking with Gulf of Mexico sediments in an anerobic chamberWorking with Gulf sediments in an anerobic chamberBaby blue crab used for exposure studiesBaby blue crab used for exposure studiesView from Gulf Ecology DivisionView from Gulf Ecology Division

What We Do

The Gulf Ecology Division (GED) conducts innovative research and modeling to assess and forecast future risk to ecological integrity from pollutants and other stressors, to develop tools and criteria for supporting resilient watersheds and water resources, to predict the adverse outcomes of chemicals at molecular through population scales, and to link environmental condition to the health and wellbeing of people and society.

Programs and projects managed by the Gulf Ecology Division (GED):

  • Human Well-Being Index (HWBI): GED researchers have developed an index characterizing relationships between economic, social, and ecosystem services and human well-being.
  • Ecosystem Services in Coordinated Case Studies:  GED scientists are leading two ecosystem services case studies in San Juan, Puerto Rico and the Northern Gulf of Mexico.  These efforts look at the supply and delivery of ecosystem services to targeted human beneficiaries to help communities make informed planning decisions.
  • Coral Reef Biological Condition Gradient (BCG): GED researchers along with scientists from Office of Water and Region 2 are developing an approach to help establish water quality criteria for coral reefs.
  • Linking Watershed Stressors to Biological Effects: Satellite remote sensing data are being used to assess and predict relationships among nutrients, hypoxia, and land-based activities on water quality for sustainable and resilient water resources.
  • Developing Tools to Protect Water Quality: Models and approaches are being developed to predict the relationships among nutrient loads, hypoxia, and land-based activities.
  • National Aquatic Resource Surveys –National Coastal and Wetlands Condition Assessments: GED, in partnership with the Office of Water and the Atlantic Ecology Division, is translating and transferring ORD’s National Coastal Assessment research approaches and strategies to operationally support the National Coastal Condition Assessment (NCCA) and National Wetlands Condition Assessment (NWCA). The NCCA and NWCA assess the ecological condition of our Nation’s marine and Great Lake near-shore aquatic and wetland resources as part of the EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys.
  • Web-based Interspecies Correlation Estimation (Web-ICE): GED developed the web-based application to predict chemical sensitivity to untested species with special focus on endangered species.    
  • Translation of Laboratory-Measured Effects into Ecological Endpoints: Research at GED in this area develops models and approaches that extrapolate chemical impacts across species and from laboratory to field populations.


Susan Elizabeth George, Director