E. coli - Escherichia coli of the family Enterobacteriaceae; fecal coliform bacteria. E. coli is present in the lower intestine of humans and warm-blooded animals, but rarely present in unpolluted waters.

ecology - The study of the interrelationships of organisms with each other and their nonliving environment.

ecosystem - All organisms and their nonliving environment within a defined area.

eel grass - Submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) of the genus Zostera; found in coastal areas; has narrow, grass-like leaves and grows in dense masses.

emergent vegetation - Benthic plants that grow partly in water and partly emerging from water (i.e. cattails, arrow arum, pond lily, phragmites). image

encroach - To intrude gradually upon the area of another; to advance beyond proper limits.

endangered species - Organisms that are so rare or few in number, they are threatened with extinction.

english ivy - Hedera helix, an exotic invasive plant, originally from Europe, that grows at the wood's edge. image

english plantain - Plantago lanceolata, an exotic invasive plant, originally from Europe, which grows in a clearing (meadow or field). image

environs - Surroundings; environment.

eradicate - To remove all traces of; to erase.

erosion - Process by which earth material is transported from one area to another by an agent such as water or wind.

estuary - A place where fresh and salt water mix (i.e. a bay, salt marsh); where a river enters an ocean.

eutrophication - A natural process in which there is an enrichment of water by nutrients, causing accelerated growth of algae and higher forms of plant life.

evolution - Any change in the overall genetic composition of a population of organisms from one generation to the next.

exoskeleton - A hard, external body covering that provides support for tissues and organs and protects the organism from predators. Arthropods have exoskeletons.

exotic species - Non-native plants and animals living in the wild in areas outside their native boundaries.

extinct - A species with no living members. All members of a species are dead; the end of a species.

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fecal coliform - Escherichia coli, E. Coli; of the family Enterobacteriaceae; bacteria naturally abundant in the lower intestine of humans and other warm-blooded animals, but rare in unpolluted waters.

fertilizer - Natural or synthetic materials used to increase the fertility of soil. A significant ingredient in urban and agricultural runoff that stimulates the growth of algae and other aquatic plants.

field garlic - Allium vineale, an exotic invasive plant that grows in a clearing (meadow or field). image

filtration - The process of removing suspended particles from untreated water by passing the water through porous substances; part of the process to convert raw water into higher quality water.

fishfly - An aquatic macroinvertebrate of the order Megaloptera; larvae have many filamentous appendages on each side of the abdomen, two hooked tails, six jointed legs, and large pinchers for mouth parts; somewhat sensitive to pollution.

flocculation - Part of a water-cleaning process in which small sticky particles clump together to make larger and heavier particles (floc). The larger particles eventually sink to the bottom of a containment area and can then be removed.

fluoridation - Part of the water treatment process in which hydrofluorosilicic acid is added to untreated water. The presence of fluoride in water reduces tooth decay.

food chain - A series of steps from producers to consumers to decomposers; one possible way food and energy are transferred through an ecosystem.

food web - All feeding relationships of organisms in an ecosystem.

forage - The act of searching for food or provisions.

forest - A dense growth of trees, together with other plants, covering a large area.

fossil - The preserved remains or evidence of ancient organisms. Impressions of body forms or markings made by organisms may be preserved in rock, petrified bones, or wood.

fossil fuel - Substances derived from the decomposition of prehistoric plants an animals that can be burned to produce energy (i.e. coal, oil, and natural gas).

freshwater - Water that is not saline or brackish. Water that is low in salts, containing less than 1,000 mg/L of dissolved solids.

fungus (plural fungi) - A type of phytoplankton; made of eukaryotic cells with cell walls; obtain food by absorbing organic substances.

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garbage - Waste material that is wet, such as recent yard and food waste. image

garbology - The study of garbage.

garlic mustard - Alliaria petiolata, an exotic invasive plant, originally from Europe, that grows at the wood's edge. image

gilled snail - An aquatic macroinvertebrate of the class Gastropoda; enclosed within one shell; sensitive to pollution. image

global positioning system (GPS) - A satellite-based radio-navigation system developed and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense. GPS permits land, sea, and air-based users to determine their 3-dimentional position, velocity, and time, 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world.

grassland - A biome in which grasses are the major species (i.e. steppe, prairie, savanna).

gravel - Suspended sediment or bed material with a particle-size of 2.0-64.0 mm in diameter.

great blue heron - Ardea herodias; a long-legged bird with a sharp beak used to catch aquatic animals. It has a bluish gray body, reddish brown neck, and often white splotches near its eyes; lives near and in lakes, ponds, and marshes. image

ground water - Water that flows or seeps downward and saturates soil or rock, supplying springs and wells; also water stored underground in rock crevices and in the pores of geologic materials that make up the Earth's crust.

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