The land area that drains into a lake or river. This area
is defined and bounded by topographic high points around the waterbody. See also
A Canadian federal organization that conducts fisheries research, habitat management,
hydrographic surveys and chart production, fisheries and recreational harbor management,
and ship support. Together with the work of the Freshwater Institute in Winnipeg,
it provides the federal Fisheries and Oceans Program for Central and Arctic Canada.
The role that the government decides
a water body will fulfill. Examples of these uses include healthy fish and wildlife
populations, fish consumption, aesthetic value, safe drinking water sources, and
healthy phytoplankton and zooplankton
communities. Restoring beneficial uses is the primary goal of the Remedial
Action Plans for the Areas of Concern and of the
Lakewide Management Plans for each Great Lake. Related Programs - Great
Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Lakewide Management Plans,
Remedial Action Plans
A negative change in the health of a water body making
it unusable for a beneficial use that has been assigned to it. Examples of these
use impairments as designated in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement include:
restrictions on fish and wildlife consumption, beach closings, degradation to
aesthetics, loss of fish and wildlife habitat, and restrictions on drinking water
consumption. Related Programs - Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, Lakewide
Management Plans, Remedial Action Plans
A term that describes both organisms and processes that occur in, on, or near,
a lakes bottom sediments. See also benthos.
Refers to animals with no backbone or internal
skeleton that live on the bottom of lakes, ponds, wetlands, rivers and streams
and among aquatic plants. Benthic invertebrates provide an essential source of
food for young and adult fish, wildlife and other animals. Examples include caddisflies,
midge larvae, scuds, waterfleas, crayfish, sponges, snails, worms, leeches, and
nymphs of mayflies, dragonflies and damselflies. The benthic invertebrateDiaporeia,
is an ecosystem indicator.
A term applied to organisms that live on or in a lakes bottom and/or bottom sediments.
See also benthic.
Best Available Control
Technology required to reduce emissions of
air pollutant. Defined in the Great Lakes Permitting
Agreement as, ....emission limits, operating stipulations, and/or technology requirements
based on the maximum degree of reduction which each Great
Lakes State determines is achievable through application of processes or available
methods, systems, and techniques for the control of listed pollutants, taking
into account energy, environmental, and economic impacts, and other costs."
Best Available Technology BAT
The most effective, economically-achievable,
and state-of-the-art technology currently in use for controlling pollution, as
determined by the EPA.
Methods used to control nonpoint
source pollution by modifying existing management practices. BMPs include
the best structural and non-structural controls and operation and maintenance
procedures available. BMPs can be applied before, during and after pollution-producing
activities, to reduce or eliminate the introduction of pollutants
into receiving waters. Related Programs - Clean
Water Act, Wetlands Conservation Act, Coastal
Zone Management, Section 319
Policy Task Force
An international organization that provides overall
policy coordination for the Binational Program. Representation
includes federal, provincial, and state government agencies. Related Programs
The commonly-used name for the
Lake Superior Binational Program to Restore and Protect the
Lake Superior Basin, an international program developed by the governments
of Canada, the U.S., Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ontario to protect the
high quality waters of the Lake Superior Basin and to
restore those areas that have been degraded. These goals are to be met through
pollution prevention, enhanced regulation,
and special designations. One specific goal of the program
is to achieve zero discharge and zero emission of designated
persistent and bioaccumulative toxic substances
from point sources in the basin. Related Programs - Great
Lakes Water Quality Agreement, International Joint Commission
The net accumulation of a substance
by an organism as a result of uptake from all environmental sources. As an organism
ages it can accumulate more of these substances, either from its food or directly
from the environment. Bioaccumulation of a toxic substance
has the potential to cause harm to organisms, particularly to those at the top
of the food chain. The pesticide, DDT, is an example of
a chemical that bioaccumlates in fish and then in humans, birds, and other animals
eating those fish. See also accumulation and biomagnification.
Bioaccumulation Factor BAF
The ratio of
a substances concentration in an organism's tissue to its concentration in the
water where the organism lives. BAFs measure a chemicals potential to accumulate
in tissue through exposure to both food and water. See also Bioconcentration
Factor. Related Programs - Great Lakes Initiative.
Bioaccumulative Chemicals of Concern BCCs
Any chemical which, upon entering surface waters, bioccumulates
in aquatic organisms by a bioaccumulation factor greater than
1000. This formula takes into account metabolism and other factors that might
affect bioaccumulation. Related Programs - Great
A test used to
evaluate the relative potency of a chemical or mixture of chemicals by comparing
its effect on a living organism with the effect of a standard preparation on the
same organism. Bioassays are frequently used in the pharmaceutical industry to
evaluate the potency of vitamins and drugs.
A measure of how available a toxic pollutant
is to the biological processes of an organism. The less the bioavailability of
a toxic substance, the less its toxic effect on an organism.
Bioconcentration Factor BCF
of a substances concentration in tissue versus its concentration in water in situations
where the organism is exposed through water only. BCF measures a chemicals potential
to accumulate in an organisms tissue through direct uptake from water (excludes
uptake from food). See also Bioaccumulation Factor.
See biological criteria.
An organism and/or biological process whose change
in numbers, structure or function points to changes in the integrity or quality
of the environment.
of controlling a disease-causing organism or pathogen or an exotic
species. A biochemical product or bioengineered or naturally-occurring organism
is used to cause death, inhibit growth, or inhibit the reproduction of an unwanted
organism. One example is the import and use of the European beetle that feeds
exclusively on Purple Loofestrife.
Biological measures of the health of an environment,
such as the incidence of cancer in benthic fish species. Biological
criteria can consist of narrative statements (in the simplest case) or of numeric
Biological Oxygen Demand BOD
This is a measurement of the oxygen depletion in a water sample incubated under
controlled conditions over a period of time. The aerobic
decomposition of organic matter by bacteria in the sample
requires oxygen. BOD is an important measurement of the impact that sewage discharge
may have upon a water body because a certain amount of oxygen will be used in
the breakdown of the wastewater.
The process by which the concentration of a substance increases in different organisms
at higher levels in the food chain. For example, if an organism is eaten by another
organism these substances move up the food chain and become more concentrated
at each step. See also bioaccumulation and accumulation.
The process of assessing the well-being
of living organisms. Often used in water quality studies to indicate compliance
with water quality standards or effluent
limits and to document water quality trends.
A term that includes all of the ecosystems on the planet
along with their interactions; the sphere of all air, water, and land in which
all life is found. The Lake Superior Biosphere includes
all ecosystems within the basin. Related Programs - Lake Superior
Board of Water and Soil Resources
A Minnesota state agency that oversees a number of state
programs designed to protect the state's soil and water. These programs include:
the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Comprehensive
Local Water Management Plans, Conservation Reserve Program, Shoreland Block
Grants, Reinvest in Minnesota, among others. BWSR is responsible for the Wetland
Conservation Act and associated rules.
See Interstate Waters.
The international treaty between the United States and Great
Britain signed on January 11, 1909, regarding the waters joining the two nations
and relating to questions arising between the United States and Canada. It gave
rise to the International Joint Commission. Related Programs
- Binational Program, International Joint
The portion of
the Lake Superior Binational Program containing the Lakewide
Management Plan and ecosystem approach per the Great
Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Also called the spiny waterflea, this non-indigenous
species has spread to all of the Great Lakes and some
inland lakes. The impact this new predator will have on the Great Lakes has yet
to be determined though it may compete for food with some fish.