follow us blog podcast facebook twitter flickr youtube
Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan :: Healthy Bay, Healthy Community

Beneficial Use Impairment #6

BUI #6 - Degradation of benthos

Status - Restored - September 6, 2018


Benthic Macroinvertebrates or benthos are small creatures that live in the sediment on the bottom of lakes, rivers and streams. They include aquatic insects, snails, clams and worms. The variety and abundance of each species provide indicators of water quality.  Some species are tolerant of poor water quality, while others require good water quality to survive.  

In the early 1990s, benthos in the Bay were identified as degraded due to a lack of species variety. Poor water quality restricted the species of benthos that could survive in the Bay of Quinte. However, over the years, there have been improvements to the water quality in the Bay.  

As well, there have been historic land use changes in the ecosystem - changing the land cover from forests to urban and rural land uses - which changed the of sediment base of the Bay from gravelly to silty. 
Also, the introduction of invasive species like, zebra mussels and round goby have impacted the benthic communities.  

These are permanent changes, that not only affected the Bay of Quinte but the  whole Great Lakes basin. 

The historic land use changes and the introduction of invasive species continue to influence the composition of the benthic communities in the Bay. These changes have reduced the diversity of benthos in the Bay of Quinte, however, there are still species in the Bay that require good water quality to survive.

This environmental challenge has met all the scientific criteria outlined in the Remedial Action Plan.

Here is the final report.

Degradation of benthos - underwater bugs - Final Report


Lake Ontario/Bay of Quinte - Current Water Levels

BQRAP Annual Report 2020

Healthy Soils Check-up Program - Farmers you could be eligible for FREE soil testing. More Info...

Landowner Stewardship Programs - Check out all the funding programs Here.....

Septic Stewardship Program... More Info  Find out if you are eligible for a free septic tank pump out and up to 80% cost sharing for minor repairs.

A Summer of Science on the Bay. Follow as we highlight our partner agencies' summer monitoring.

1. Quinte Conservation

2. Environment and Climate Change Canada (EC)

3. Coastal Wetland Monitoring

4. EC and Canadian Centre for Inland Waters

5. Fisheries and Oceans Canada

6. Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Blue-Green Algae ...  More Info

Water Soldier - Find out about the impacts of this invasive plant on the Bay of Quinte 

Project Quinte 2017 Report
A multi-agency research and monitoring program for the Bay of Quinte

Ontario's Great Lakes Strategy - More here

Great Lakes Protection Act Here

Quinte Area Bird Report The Quinte Area Bird Report is updated weekly. Read more....