Aquatic macroinvertebrates are organisms that live underwater and are visible to the naked eye. Some macroinvertebrates spend their entire lives underwater, while others will emerge from the water once they reach maturity. Different types of macroinvertebrates respond to pollution in different ways. Some macroinvertebrates are sensitive to pollution and are found only in areas with good water quality, while others are tolerant of pollution and thrive in nutrient-enriched waters. Consequently, aquatic macroinvertebrates are great indicators of the quality of our waterways. By observing which species are present in macroinvertebrate communities, we can better understand the health of our streams and rivers. Here are some of the more common macroinvertebrates that may serve as indicators of water quality.


Pollution-Sensitive Invertebrates Somewhat Pollution-Tolerant Pollution-Tolerant Invertebrates