Ecological Risk Assessment
An organized procedure to evaluate
the likelihood that adverse ecological effects will occur as a result of exposure
to stressors related to human activities, such as the
draining of wetlands or release of chemicals.
A biological community and its environment working together
as a functional system, including transferring and circulating energy and matter.
Ecosystem Charter for the Great Lakes Basin
by the Great Lakes Commission, this is a binational statement
of goals, objectives, principles, and action items for the Great Lakes with a plan for achieving it. This non-binding
agreement supports a philosophy of ecosystem management
that recognizes natural resources as part of a dynamic and complete matrix that
pays no heed to political boundaries or jurisdictions. Related Programs - Great
or community of organisms that is used to assess the health of an ecosystem
as a whole. For example, the Binational Program has selected
the lake trout and Diaporeia (a benthic invertebrate)
to be indicator species for Lake Superior. Related Programs
- Binational Program
and Objectives for Lake Superior
A binational program described in
Volume IV of the Lake Superior Lakewide Management Program. The report lists specific
ecosystem principles and objectives for the Lake Superior Basin, provides a set
of benchmarks, and helps guide decisions pertaining to land and water management
in the Lake Superior ecosystem. Related Programs - Binational Program
Liquid wastes that are discharged into the environment
as a by-product of human-oriented processes, such as waste material, liquid industrial
refuse, or sewage.
placed on quantities, discharge rates, and concentrations of pollutants
that are discharged from point sources into waters
of the United States or the ocean. Related Programs - 40
CFR, Clean Water Act
Species Act ESA
Federal statutes passed
in 1973 that protect endangered and threatened species. The act has 16 sections
(16 U.S.C. 1531-1544).
Species Act Reauthorization ESAR
The name for the federal legislative
process to amend the Endangered Species Act. It is anticipated
that reauthorization will occur in the mid- to late-1990s.
The lead federal agency responsible for implementing
Great Lakes 2000 and the 1994 Canada-Ontario Agreement
respecting the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. Together, Great Lakes 2000 and the
Canada-Ontario Agreement represent the Canadian response to the Great
Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
Environmental Impact Assessment
A decision-making process mandated under the National
Environmental Policy Act which may require a detailed environmental
impact statement analyzing the potential significant environmental impacts
and alternatives to the action before the action is permitted. A public comment
period takes place on each EIA.
Environmental Impact Statement
A statement detailing the environmental impacts of and
the alternatives to an action. See Environmental Impact Assessment.
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program EMAP
A federal program initiated by the EPA in 1988
to provide improved information on the current status and long-term trends
in the condition of the nation's ecological resources. Seven resource
categories are defined: near coastal waters, the Great
Lakes, inland surface waters, wetlands, forests,
arid lands, and agroecosystems. Related Programs - Environmental
Environmental Protection Agency EPA
A federal agency whose
primary goal is to prevent or mitigate the adverse impacts of pollution on human
health and the environment.
Environmental Research Laboratory
- Duluth ERL-Duluth
See Mid-Continent Ecology Division.
The wearing away of the land surface by running waters, glaciers, winds,
and waves. Erosion occurs naturally from weather or runoff but can be
intensified by land-clearing practices related to farming, residential
or industrial development, road building, or timber cutting.
Areas of interaction between
rivers and nearshore lake waters, where seiche activity
and river flow create a mixing of lake and river water. These areas may include
bays, mouths of rivers, marshes, and lagoons. These ecosystems
shelter and feed fish, birds, and wildlife. Most importantly, Great
Lakes estuaries provide habitat for wildlife and for young-of-the-year and
species now found in Lake Superior and Lake Huron. This relatively new invader
is a member of the perch family. It is usually less than 6 inches long, has a
perch-like body shape and is very slimy when handled. This fish may be competing
with native perch and other fish for food. There is a great deal of concern over
the potential for this fish to expand its range into other North American waters.
It has also been called the European ruffe and river ruffe. See also aquatic nuisance species.
An exotic aquatic macrophyte
that forms thick underwater stands of tangled stems and vast mats of vegetation
on the surface of inland lakes. In many shallow areas this plant can crowd out
native plants and interfere with water recreation such as boating, fishing and
swimming. The plant can spread from lake to lake by stem fragments that cling
to boats and trailers. Public education campaigns aimed at preventing unintentional
transport of the plant by boaters have successfully slowed its spread in some
states. See also aquatic nuisance species.
A term used to classify those lakes of high primary
productivity as indicated by high algal concentrations or high nutrient
levels. See also eutrophication.
The process of physical, biological, and chemical changes that occurs
in a lake when enriched by nutrients, organic matter,
and/or silt and sediments. The process can occur naturally,
but if accelerated by human activities such as agriculture, urbanization, and
industrial discharge, it is called cultural eutrophication.
See non-indigenous species.
Contact with a chemical or physical
Estimates the amount
of a substance something is exposed to.