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glossary of the great lakespage
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Basin
Bayfield Institute
Beneficial Use
Beneficial Use-Impairment
Benthic
Benthic Invertebrate
Benthos
Best Available Control Technology BACT
Best Available Technology BAT
Best Management Practice BMP
Binational Policy Task Force
Binational Program
Bioaccumulation
Bioaccumulation Factor BAF
Bioaccumulative Chemicals of Concern BCCs
Bioassay
Bioavailability
Bioconcentration Factor BCF
Biocriteria
Bioindicator
Biological Control
Biological Criteria
Biological Oxygen Demand BOD
Biomagnification
Biomonitoring
Biosphere
Board of Water and Soil Resources BWSR
Boundary Waters
Boundary Waters Treaty
Broader Program
Bythotrephes BC
Basin
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 watershed.

Bayfield Institute
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.

Beneficial Use
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

Beneficial Use-Impairment
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

Benthic
A term that describes both organisms and processes that occur in, on, or near, a lakes bottom sediments. See also benthos.

Benthic Invertebrate
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.

Benthos
A term applied to organisms that live on or in a lakes bottom and/or bottom sediments. See also benthic.

Best Available Control Technology BACT
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.

Best Management Practice BMP
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

Binational 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 -Binational Program

Binational Program
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

Bioaccumulation
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 Lakes Initiative.

Bioassay
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.

Bioavailability
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
The ratio 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.

Biocriteria
See biological criteria.

Bioindicator
An organism and/or biological process whose change in numbers, structure or function points to changes in the integrity or quality of the environment.

Biological Control
A method 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 Criteria
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 statements.

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.

Biomagnification
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.

Biomonitoring
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.

Biosphere
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 Biosphere Preserve

Board of Water and Soil Resources BWSR
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.

Boundary Waters
See Interstate Waters.

Boundary Waters Treaty
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 Commission.

Broader Program
The portion of the Lake Superior Binational Program containing the Lakewide Management Plan and ecosystem approach per the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.

Bythotrephes BC
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.

 

 

 

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