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This publication describes the philosophy, history, methodology, and management applications of numeric biological criteria in water quality standards in Maine. The presentation describes the decision-making process used by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MDEP) for assessing attainment of aquatic life uses in water quality standards using benthic macroinvertebrates in Maine streams and rivers including eight case studies of management applications and the improved environmental outcomes that have resulted. The MDEP, University of Maine, and business and nonprofit stakeholders participated in the development and testing of Maine’s numeric biological criteria. This publication further discusses the broader relevance of numeric biological criteria in water quality management at both the state and federal levels and considers parallels and differences between Maine’s biological criteria and other biological assessment methods in the United States and the European Union.
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Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station
water quality standards, Maine, benthic macroinvertebrates
Water Resource Management
Davies, S.P., F. Drummond, D.L. Courtemanch, L. Tsomides, and T.J. Danielson. 2016. Biological water quality standards to achieve biological condition goals in Maine rivers and streams: Science and policy. Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station Technical Bulletin 208.