Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Barnegat Bay Terms

Barrier Island: A wave-built deposit of mainly sand, raised above sea level by constructive wave action and separated from the shore by a bay or estuary.

Benthic: Occurring or living on or in the bottom of a water body.

Best Management Practices (BMP): A method, activity, maintenance procedure, or other management practice for reducing the amount of pollution entering a water body.

Biotic: The plant and animal assemblage of biological community.

Bivalve: An aquatic invertebrate animal of the class Bivalvia. Bivalves, such as clams and oysters, have two shells (valves) and most are filter feeders.

Buffer: An area between a sensitive site and development site which cushions and lessens the conflict between the two sites.

Citizen: An inhabitant of one of the municipalities of Ocean County; one who is entitled to the rights and privileges of such residence.

Clean Water Act:  An act passed by Congress in 1987, that amends the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The objective of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation’s waters.

Contaminant: A substance that is not naturally present in the environment or is present in amounts that can, in sufficient concentration, adversely affect the environment.

Cumulative Impacts: The total effect of a series of actions or activities as opposed to that of a single one.

Degradation: Diminution or reduction of value or quality.

Ecosystem:  A system made up of a community of animals, plants, and bacteria and its interrelated physical and chemical environment.

Estuarine: Of, relating to, formed, or living within an estuary.


Estuary:  
Any confined coastal water body with a connection to the sea, diluted by out-flowing fresh water and with a quantity of marine salt in the waters greater than 0.5 parts per thousand (ppt). Estuaries provide habitats for rare, endangered, recreational and commercial wildlife and provide stopover sites for migratory waterfowl. Estuaries provide water quality and flood control functions, and serve as important aesthetic, sport and recreational resources.

Habitat: The area or type of environment in which an organism or biological population normally lives or occurs.

Headwater: The upper part of a river, near its source, or one of the streams that contribute their waters to form a larger stream.

Hydrologic/Hydrology:
The science dealing with the waters of the earth, their distribution on the surface and underground and the cycle involving evaporation, precipitation, flow to the seas, etc.


Impervious: 
A surface that cannot be easily penetrated. For instance, rain does not readily penetrate asphalt or concrete pavement.


Land Use: 
The way land is developed and used in terms of the types of activities allowed (agriculture, residences, industries, etc.) and the size of buildings and structures permitted.


Nonpoint
Source Pollution: Pollution (fertilizers, pesticides, oils, etc.) that enters water from dispersed and uncontrolled sources rather than through pipes. Nonpoint sources (e.g., yards, surface runoff, septic tanks and recreational boats) contribute pathogens, suspended solids and nutrients. The cumulative effects of nonpoint source pollution can be significant.

Pathogen: An agent such as a virus, bacterium, or fungus that can cause disease in humans. Pathogens can be present in municipal, industrial, and nonpoint source discharges to the Bay.

Phytoplankton: The single-cell component of plankton.

Plankton: The usually microscopic animal and plant life found floating or drifting in the ocean or in fresh water and used as food by nearly all aquatic animals.

Pollutant: A contaminant that adversely alters the physical, chemical or biological properties or the environment. The term includes pathogens, toxic metals, carcinogens, oxygen-demanding materials, and all other harmful substances.Riparian: Of, adjacent to, or living on, the bank of a river or, sometimes, of a lake, pond, etc.

Sedimentation: The process of gravitational disposition of organic and/or inorganic suspended particles by water.

Shellfish: An aquatic animal, such as a mollusk (clams and oysters) or crustacean (crabs and shrimp), having a shell or shell-like exoskeleton.

Stakeholder: An individual, agency, or organization that has an interest in, or may be affected by the actions of the Barnegat Bay Partnership.

Storm Water Runoff: Waters which result primarily from surface runoff and includes street wash water and drainage.

Storm Sewer System: The designed infrastructure within a municipality which collects, conveys, channels, holds, inhibits or diverts the movement of storm water.

Subdivision: The division of a lot, tract, or parcel of land into two or more lots, tracts, parcels or other divisions of land for sale, development, or lease.

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV):  SAVs are vascular sea grasses such as eel grass (Zostera marina) and widgeon grass (Ruppia marina). SAV habitats provide many environmental benefits, including serving as nursery and feeding habitats for numerous species of fish, crabs, and shellfish.

Subwatershed:  Smaller geographic segments of a larger watershed unit with a drainage area of between 2 to 15 mi2 (5.2 to 39 km2), and whose boundaries include all the land area draining to a point where two second-order (smaller) streams combine to form a third-order (larger) stream.  The terms “watershed” and “subwatershed” are not inter-changeable. The term “watershed” is used to describe the broader management area, while the term “subwatershed” is used to refer to smaller areas where specific actions for watershed protection can be defined. Each subwatershed contains a network of small stream channels known as headwater streams.

Toxic: Poisonous, carcinogenic, or otherwise directly harmful to life.

Tributary: A stream that flows into a larger stream or body of water.

Turbidity: Reduced water clarity resulting from presence of suspended matter.

Watershed: A watershed can be defined as the land area that contributes runoff to a particular point along a waterway. A watershed includes hills, lowlands, and the body of water into which the land drains. In this particular instance, the watershed contributes runoff to the Barnegat Bay-Little Egg Harbor estuary. Therefore, the land area contributing runoff to the Barnegat Bay is known as the Barnegat Bay watershed. Watersheds can be subdivided into subwatersheds, which are smaller geographic segments of a larger watershed unit with a drainage area of between 2 to 15 mi2 (5.2 to 39 km2), and whose boundaries include all the land area draining to a point where two second-order streams combine to form a third-order stream.

Wetlands: Habitat where the influence of surface- or groundwater has resulted in development of plant or animal communities adapted to aquatic or intermittently wet conditions. Wetlands include tidal flats, shallow subtidal areas, swamps, marshes, wet meadows, bogs, and similar areas.

Zooplankton: The animal component of plankton.

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