Vocabulary

Georgia Basin Vocabulary

Watershed: an area of land where all water from rain, snow or ice drains down through streams and rivers to a body of water such as a lake or the ocean.

Species: a group of organisms that can reproduce with one another, and generally have the same or similar structure, function and behaviour.

Habitat: the area or environment where organisms naturally live or occur.

Community: everything living (bacteria, plants, animals etc.) in an area that interacts with one another.

Ecosystem: communities together with the physical environment (land and water).

Human Impacts Vocabulary

Environmental contaminants: substances, such as chemicals, that have the potential for harming the natural environment.

Climate change: a significant change in normal or usual climate conditions.

Greenhouse gas: a gas that traps the heat of the sun (like a greenhouse does), causing the Earth’s atmosphere to warm.

Nutrient: a substance or chemical that an organism needs to live or grow; it may be taken in from the environment and used for the organism’s metabolism.

Pollution Vocabulary

Environmental contaminants: substances, such as chemicals, that have the potential for harming the natural environment.

Pollutants: environmental contaminants that have reached levels that are harmful to the natural environment.

Pollution: contamination of the natural environment by environmental contaminants that have reached harmful levels (pollutants).

Point source pollution: an easily seen or obvious source of pollution that can be studied and targeted for cleanup.

Non-point source pollution: pollution from many smaller human activities that together create a bigger pollution problem.

Persistent environmental contaminants: contaminants that do not break down.

Food chain: the sequence or order of who eats whom or what animals feed on other plants and animals. A food chain forms a single path of energy.

Biomagnification: an increase in the concentration of a substance (including environmental contaminants) as it moves up the food chain.

Fish and Invertebrates Vocabulary

Invertebrates: animals without backbones such as crabs, shrimp, clams and octopus.

Food webs: the connections between many plants and animals or food chains that are important to their survival.

Crustaceans: a group of invertebrate animals generally with a hard exterior shell (exoskeleton) including crabs, shrimp, and lobsters.

Anadromous: fish that migrate or move between freshwater and saltwater at different stages in their life. Young salmon migrate from freshwater to saltwater, and as adults, return to the freshwater streams and rivers where they were born to spawn and produce new salmon.

Nutrient: a substance or chemical that an organism needs to live or grow; it may be taken in from the environment and used for the organism’s metabolism.

Species: related organisms that are able to mate and reproduce (interbreed).

Pollution: contamination of the natural environment by environmental contaminants that have reached harmful levels (pollutants).

Seabirds Vocabulary

Birds of prey: birds, such as eagles, hawks and osprey that hunt for food while flying and use their very sharp eyesight or vision. They are also called raptors.

Crustaceans: a group of invertebrate animals generally with a hard exterior shell (exoskeleton) including crabs, shrimp, and lobsters.

Invertebrates: animals without backbones such as crabs, shrimp, clams and octopus.

Pollutants: environmental contaminants that have reached levels that are harmful to the natural environment.

Biomagnification: an increase in the concentration of a substance (including environmental contaminants) as it moves up the food chain.

Food chain: the sequence or order of who eats whom or what animals feed on other plants and animals. A food chain forms a single path of energy.