Improved benthic conditions compared to the 1990s were found during benthic investigations, including sediment and benthic macrofauna in the inner Stockholm archipelago during 2008. In the 1990s, these areas were dominated by black and laminated surface sediments and very sparse fauna. A clear relationship was found when comparing sediment status with the benthic macrofauna. Reduced surface sediment and impoverished macroinvertebrate community was only found at one sampling station representing an enclosed part of the inner archipelago, whereas the other seven stations, with depths ranging from 20 to 50 m, had oxidized surface sediments and considerable biomasses of benthic macrofauna (6-65 g m(-2)) dominated by the invading polychaete Marenzelleria neglecta. An extrapolation of the results shows that, within the investigated area, the coverage of reduced surface sediments had decreased from approximately 17% in the late 1990s to 4% in 2008.