The annual cycle and distribution of the benthic copepod fauna of a shallow inshore area in the south of podfauna of a shallow inshore area in the south of Kiel Bay (Baltic Sea) were investigated. The spp composition found is not typical for medium fine sand, but resembles that characteristic of a mixture of coarser sand, phytal and even soft bottoms. The mean population density was ca. 10 times smaller than in off shore stations. Obvious maxima were observed in July and Nov, and attributable to different spp. The dominant harpacticoid spp change several times during the year. Spp diversity was highest in summer, lowest in winter, when only 2 spp, Paraleptastacus holsaticus and Scottopsyllus minor, were dominant. Many spp show breeding maxima in spring and summer, a few in autumn (e.g. Ameira parvula) or winter (e.g. Scottopsyllus minor). The effect of sewage pollution manifests itself significantly only in the immediate vicinity of the outfall: spp diversity decrease; Scottopsyllus minor, Nitocra spec., N. tuypica, Paraleptastacus holsaticus, Parastenhelia spinosa, as well as Tachidius disciples are rather frequent in this zone. The potential value oft hese spp as indicators of water quality is discussed. Most of the harpacticoids in the investigated area are rather tolerant to domestic waste products.