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Glossary of Terms

The following is a glossary of terms used within this website.


Algal Bloom
High number of algal cells in the water, leading to a green to brown color in the water. Algal blooms often lead to fish and shellfish kills due to chemical production, oxygen depletion in the water due to bloom decay or clogging of the gills.

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Algal Toxin
Some algae species produce chemicals as a defense mechanism. High concentration of toxins may affect wildlife, pets and human health via epidermal contact, inhalation and/or ingestion of contaminated seafood.

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Antibiotics Resistance Analysis (ARA)
New technique used to test the resistance of the fecal coliform bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli) to different concentrations of antibiotics. This method is used to determine the sources of fecal pollution in aquatic ecosystems. Fecal bacteria colony that is resistant to antibiotics is identified to come from organisms exposed to antibiotics such as human, pets and farm animals.

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Conductivity
The ability of the water to conduct an electric current (ion content).

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Chlorophyll a
Measure of algal content.

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Dissolved Oxygen
The amount of oxygen the water holds. Dissolved oxygen is important for the survival of aquatic organisms.

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Fecal Coliform Bacteria
Bacteria found in the digestive tract of warm-blooded animals. Contamination of fecal coliform bateria is indicative of human, pets and/or wildlife feces deposition in the aquatic ecosystems. Although fecal coliform bacteria are harmless to human health, fecal matter can also have disease producing bacteria or viruses, leading to use of fecal coliform bacteria as indicators of possible risk to human and environmental health.

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Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) species
Algal species that produce toxin that can have negative effects on human and environmental health. The effects of HABs on human health can range from gastrointestinal effects to death.

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Herbicides
Chemicals used to control weeds and other plants not desired in yards. Atrazine and 2,4-D are widely used herbicides. Herbicides affect the photosynthesis process in plants.

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Insecticides
Chemicals used to control insects (mosquitoes, ants, beetles, etc.). Chlorpyrifos is a common insecticide.

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Fungicides
Chemicals used to control plant's fungal diseases (rust, mildew, etc). Chlorothalonil is a common fungicide.

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Nutrients
Important for plant growth. High levels of nutrients can lead to algal bloom development.

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pH
The measure of the water's acidity.

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Salinity
Salt content of the water.

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Turbidity
Clarity of the water.

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Vegetative buffer
Growth of plants (other than grass) between the pond’s edge and the lawn. Vegetative buffers help to:

  1. minimize pollution in the water by capturing sediments, nutrients and chemical before runoff into the water
  2. reduce erosion
  3. reduce flooding and flood damage
  4. allow of breakdown of fecal coliform bacteria.

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