The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been collecting information on Lake Erie benthos – the mollusks, snails and worms that live in sediments on the lake bottom – since the 1930s. Many of these organisms are considered indicators of how healthy an ecosystem is, so determining changes and trends over time can help management agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) evaluate and track the effectiveness of protection strategies and regulations.


Christina Dierkes, Ohio Sea Grant