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The state of the nation's lakes

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The Environmental Protection Agency has released its first comprehensive survey of the nation's lakes. Samara Freemark tells us what the study turned up.

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Transcript: Samara Freemark, January 4, 2010

More than half the nation's lakes are in good condition. That's according to a nationwide survey just released by the EPA. But the agency found that 44% of lakes ranked only fair or poor.

The survey identified two major problems facing lakes. First, many of them are surrounded by development. And that can mean dirt and polluted water running off into the lakes.

And second, many lakes contained high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, which can lead to harmful algae blooms.

Susan Holdsworth is with the EPA. She says those findings were concerning.

"These stressors are both widespread and pose a significant threat to the condition of our nation's lakes."

Holdsworth says the EPA will use the data to assess how well government programs are doing at protecting lakes. The results will also help set future EPA priorities.

For The Environment Report, I'm Samara Freemark.

Copyright 2010. The Regents of the University Of Michigan. Used with permission.

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