The R/V Lake Guardian (ex: Marsea XIV) is, at 180 x 40 ft., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
's largest research and monitoring vessel, and is operated by EPA's Chicago-based Great Lakes National Program Office
.?? The Lake Guardian is in its eighteenth season in the Great Lakes, and has been used, extensively, to support monitoring and research activities ranging from investigations of toxic contaminants to the health of the biological communities of the lakes.
The EPA continues to use the R/V Lake Guardian to support a wide range of research activities conducted by Federal, State, and local agencies and universities. Every effort is made to keep the Lake Guardian's equipment up-to-date, to make possible sampling for a wide range of chemicals
in the air, water and sediments as well as aquatic plants and animals.
The boat is fitted with two 5,000 pound and one 30,000 pound deck winches and a HIAB 450 Se Crane and a HIAB 80 Sea Crane. Accommodation is provided for a crew of 13 and 29 scientists. The vessel has tankage for 80,272 gallons of fuel, 27,734 gallons of potable water, 1989 gallons of lube oil, 1534 gallons of hydraulic oil, 62,814 gallons of effluent and 76,500 gallons of ballast water.
Launched from Halter Marine's Pascagoula shipyard in 1981, the Lake Guardian was converted to a research vessel in 1990. The design work for the initial conversion was done by Rodney E. Lay & Associates of Jacksonville Florida. JMS Naval Architects of Groton, Connecticut undertook the design consultations for the recent repower along with conversion work on the ship's lab.
The vessel has recently undergone a repower. The EPA has been instrumental in defining the current Tier 2 requirements for diesel engines installed in newly built vessels. In keeping with these principals, the EPA chose Tier 2 certified engines for this repower. The new main engines are a pair of Tier 2-compliant Cummins QSK38 producing 1200 HP each at 1800 RPM with C-Command Elite Plus Monitoring System. The engines turn 83x79-inch propellers in Kort nozzles on 7 5/8th-inch shafts through Twin Disc model MG540 gears with 5.17:1 ratios and EC-300 Control Systems. This is the first ABS approved QSK38 to MG540 unit certification in the United States.