What are benthic macroinvertebrates you ask? Great question! Benthic macroinvertebrates, or creek critters as they’re commonly known, are “relatively sedentary organisms that inhabit or depend upon the sedimentary environment for their various life functions. Therefore, they are sensitive to both long-term and short-term changes in habitat, sediment, and water quality.”
Since they are so sensitive to changes in the creek bed/water, monitoring them is an effective way to track a creek’s health over time.
Keep an eye out for Creek Critter monitoring workshops coming this fall! Here we'll be teaching students and residents how to identify these organisms so that they can determine the health of their neighboring watershed.
In the meantime, how many sowbugs can you see in this sample?