Simple rootless plants that grow in bodies of water (e.g. estuaries) at rates dependent on the amounts of plant nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) available in water.
Not containing oxygen or not requiring oxygen.
Of or relating to measurements of the depths of water bodies, such as oceans or lakes.
mound or bank of earth, used especially as a barrier.
mixture of fresh and saltwater typically found in estuarine areas; water that is saline but not as salty as seawater.
designated area along the perimeter of a stream or wetland that is regulated to control (resist, absorb, or otherwise preclude) the negative effects of adjacent development from intruding into the natural area beyond the buffer.
straightening of rivers or streams by means of an artificial channel.
clay or cement piping placed in wetland areas to channel water. Culverts alter the naturally existing movement of water through the area.
a path for water that drains the surrounding land and alters naturally existing water flow through the area.
community of organisms and their physical environment that interact as an ecological unit.
common name for a group or genus of plants called Zostera that grow under water in estuaries and in shallow coastal areas.
relating to, or found in an estuary.
semi-enclosed coastal body of water which has a free connection with the open sea and where fresh water derived from land drainage (usually mouths of rivers) is mixed with seawater; often subject to tidal action and cyclic fluctuations in salinity. In estuaries, the fresh river water is blocked from streaming into the open ocean by surrounding mainland, peninsulas, barrier islands, or fringing salt marshes. This mixing of fresh and salt water creates a unique environment that brims with life of all kinds.
water that penetrates the earth's surface from precipitation and from infiltration from streams; water present below ground from ponds and lakes; water that flows or ponds underground.
study of the properties, distribution and circulation of water, specifically water on the surface or land, in the soil and underlying rocks, and in the atmosphere. Also used to refer to the characteristics of water flow in or on a given site.
shallow, coastal body of water separated from the ocean by a sand bar, which may periodically breach, opening the lagoon to the ocean for a time. Lagoons can form where a river meets the ocean (an estuarine lagoon), or without the influence of a river.
barrier constructed to contain the flow of water, prevent flooding, or to keep out the sea.
common term applied to describe treeless wetlands characterized by shallow water and abundant emergent, floating, and submerged wetland flora. Typically found in shallow basins, on lake margins, along low gradient rivers, and in calm tidal areas. Marshes may be fresh, brackish or saline, depending on their water source(s). The ecosystem of a marsh contains continuously waterlogged soil dominated by immersed herbaceous plants but without a surface accumulation of peat. A marsh differs from a swamp in that it is dominated by rushes, reeds, cattails, and sedges, with few if any woody plants, and differs from a bog in having soil rather than peat as its base.
un-vegetated wetlands on the edge of the saltwater subject to periodic flooding and minor wave action. Provides habitat for invertebrates, fish, and shorebirds.
diffuse source of pollution that cannot be attributed to a clearly identifiable, specific physical location or a defined discharge channel. This includes the nutrients that run off the ground from any land use (croplands, feedlots, lawns, parking lots, streets, forests, etc.) and enter waterways. It also includes nutrients that enter through air pollution, through the groundwater, or from septic systems.
an ecosystem or community, particularly a forest, which has not experienced intense or widespread disturbance for a long time relative to the lifespans of the dominant species and has entered a late successional stage.
the acidity or alkalinity (basicity) of water. pH 7 is neutral; increasing values indicate alkalinity and decreasing value indicate acidity.
measure of the salt concentration of water; higher salinity means more dissolved salts. The salinity of ocean water is in the range 33-38 parts per thousand.
coastal habitat consisting of salt-resistant plants residing in an organic-rich sediment.
type of wetland includes woody plants such as shrubs and small trees under 20 feet in height. They may represent a successional stage to a forested wetland.
structures which alter natural shoreline e.g. bulkheads and docks. Natural shoreline slope and bluff erosion supply sediments to beaches. Armoring may increase erosion of adjacent beaches.
rainwater as well as water from car washing, watering lawns, and other sources that is not treated prior to discharge into water bodies.
portion of a tidal-flat environment that lies below the level of mean low water for spring tides. Normally it is covered by water at all stages of the tide.
action of saltwater entering an estuary twice a day during the high tides. It renews the salinity and nutrients to the estuary and removes artificially introduced toxins in the environment.
opening through which water may flow freely when the tide sets in one direction, but which closes automatically and prevents the water from flowing in the other direction.
branch that flows into the main stream.
relative clarity of water, which depends in part on the material in suspension in the water.
area of land where all of the ground water and surface water drains to the same water body (typically a river or creek).
general term applied to land areas which are seasonally or permanently waterlogged, including lakes, rivers, estuaries, and freshwater marshes; an area of low-lying land submerged or inundated periodically by fresh or saline water.