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Acid rain - rain that contains toxic chemicals from the atmosphere, such as sulfur dioxide (SO2). When this rain falls, it spreads these toxic chemicals, polluting lakes, oceans, and forests.

Algae - simple plants without leaves, stems, or roots. Often single-celled organisms

Aquatic habitat - a habitat with water that includes areas permanently covered by water and surrounding areas that are occasionally covered by water

Aquifer - areas underground which store water, characterized by porous rock and soil.

Biological control - the process of using organisms to reduce a problem in nature. For example, Kudzu, a viny plant, has been introduced in Georgia to reduce the problem of erosion.

Carnivore - an animal that eats only other animals

Carnivorous - eating only animals

Climate - the long-term weather conditions of an area

Decomposer - an organism that eats dead plant and animal matter

Delta - area of wetlands that forms at the mouth of a river at the coast, usually triangle-shaped

Detritus - small pieces of decayed plant and animal matter

Discharge - the amount of water passing a point on the river in a given amount of time

Ebb tide - a tide that is falling

Erosion - the loss of soil and gravel from the surface of land. This occurs when sediments are exposed and swept away by wind or water

Estuary - a place where freshwater from a river mixes with saltwater from the ocean

Fertilizer - chemicals that contain nutrients for plant growth

Flood tide - a tide that is rising

Floodplain - area of level land on either side of a river, prone to being flooded

Food chain - a sequence of organisms that eat one another. An example of an aquatic food chain is: algae get eaten by small fish, small fish get eaten by large fish, and large fish get eaten by wading birds.

Food web - a diagram that shows all the main organisms in an ecosystem and how they are connected on the basis of feeding relationships

Freshwater - water that contains few minerals. This type of water is in streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater, and is the water we drink.

Geology - the study of the structure of the earth and the processes that have formed it over time

Groundwater - water that lies beneath the earth's surface. Most groundwater is stored in aquifers.

Habitat - an area where an organism lives

Herbicides - chemicals that kill plants

Herbivore - an animal that eats only plant matter

Herbivorous - eating only plant matter

Omnivore - an organism that eats both plant and animal matter

Omnivorous - eating both plant and animal matter

Pesticides - chemicals that kill insects and rodents

Photosynthesis - the process by which plants use energy from the sun to make their own energy. Within their cells, plants use sunlight energy to convert water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to sugar (C6H12O6) and oxygen (O2).

Phytoplankton - tiny plants that float and drift in the water, including many types of algae

Pollutant - a material which causes damage to the environment

Pollution - the introduction of materials, such as chemicals and waste, which cause damage to an environment

Porous - a material that is full of small air holes

Predator - an organism that eats another organism

Producer - an organism that uses sunlight energy and nutrients from the air and soil to grow and develop

Riparian zone - habitat that is directly along the shore of a stream or river

Salinity - amount of salt in water

Saturated - containing as much water as possible

Sediment - small bits of soil and gravel

Sediment load - the amount of soil and gravel suspended in the water

Surface water - water we see above ground, including streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and wetlands.

Tides - the alternating rise and fall of sea levels

Topography - land surface features such as hills, valleys, rivers, and lakes

Toxic - poisonous, if consumed in sufficient quantity

Tributaries - the streams and rivers that flow into a larger river

Upland habitat - dry land along the shores of a stream or river

Wastewater - water that has been used by people that is polluted

Water flow speed - the speed that water flows down a river

Water level - water depth

Water table - the highest layer of soil underground that is saturated with water

Watershed - an area of land drained by a river system

Zooplankton - tiny animals that float and swim weakly in the water

Appendix II. Unit conversions

1 m = (3?) feet
1 km = (0.62?) mile
1 liter = (0.5?) gallons