Integrating Bio-indicators of stream water quality into regional planning

Using ecological indicators of stream and watershed quality can help establish regulatory frameworks for landscape-wide sustainable development


The goal of this project is to demonstrate how the IBGN standard (which is a protocol using bioindicators of ecosystem health) is applicable to the management of waterstream quality. Researchers from McGill University are using IBGN in the Gault Nature Reserve. Bio-indicators of water quality are potentially more easily understood by the general public than standard chemical measures of water quality; people may not know what to make of a specified level of phosphorus in a stream, but might know that a mayfly is likely to be found in a healthy trout stream and not in a stream polluted by industrial effluents. By increasing public understanding and a participatory process for increased awareness of IBGN as a bio-indicator, public acceptance of its value may encourage the ultimate incorporation of IBGN into regulatory policy.

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