Excessive sedimentation in local streams continues to be one of the greater water quality monitoring challenges of today. The objective of this work was to evaluate the validity of environmental indicators, or diagnostic attributes, that are sensitive to a range of stressors. In essence, it was looking for reliable "canaries in the coal-mine" regarding sedimentation. These indicators included benthic macroinvertbrates, fish communities, streamside habitat factors and readily available GIS data of upstream watersheds. In addition, an interdisciplinary, cooperative effort produced a Sedimentation Potential Index (SPI) which quantifies the upstream characteristics that contribute to the downstream sediment impairment processes. The overall goal was to provide useful tools in water quality assessment and resource management by combining research with real-world applications.