Diatoms are commonly used as indicators of aquatic ecosystem health and can effectively predict values of specific environmental variables. Their use in environmental monitoring programs can be constrained by the expert knowledge that is required for identification to a species level as well as the time and costs associated with identification. Attempts have been made to simplify this identification process by lowering the taxonomic resolution of identification to family or genus level or through automation of identification. These techniques, though functional, do not result in an overall simplification of the identification process that is justifiable against the decrease in certainty of results. A trait-based identification technique using easily identifiable and influential traits for predicting environmental variables could justify the decrease in certainty when considering the decrease in time and cost associated with identification. This could make the use of diatoms as an indicator of ecosystem health more accessible to non-experts.