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Glossary

Adapted from the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study

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ABIOTIC - Non-living factors in the environment (air, water, sunlight, minerals, etc.).

ACCRETION - An increase by natural growth or addition, used in the Study in terms of increased beach area or wetland.

ACOUSTIC SOUNDINGS - Technique of determining bottom depth in a body of water by transmitting sound waves through the water and measuring the reflected signals.

ADVERSE CONSEQUENCES - Negative implication of fluctuating water levels for social, economic, environmental or political investments.

AGREEMENTS - Joint statements among two or more governmental units on (i) goals and purposes which should guide basin decision-making, (ii) processes of decision-making and (iii) authorities of governments to act. Agreements are an attempt to remedy a shared problem, and they serve to define the boundaries and constraints on choice of measures.

ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION (ADR) - A process aimed at reaching a consensus agreement in order to end a dispute or reduce conflict among interest groups that have some stake in and can influence the outcome of decisions or actions related to the water level issue. The distinguishing characteristics of alternative dispute resolution are that: (1) interest groups are actively included in developing and assessing alternatives and making trade-offs between alternatives, and (2) issues are decided on their merits rather than on the interest's access to the decision-making process. Policy dialogues and negotiation are types of alternative dispute resolution processes.

ANTHROPOGENIC HABITAT LOSS - The loss of habitat due to human activities.

AQUIFER - Any subsurface material that holds a relatively large quantity of groundwater and is able to transmit that water readily.

AREA OF NATURAL AND SCIENTIFIC INTEREST (ANSI) - An area of land and water which, due to its natural landscapes or features, has been classified as having life science or earth science values related to protection, scientific study or education.

ARCHIPELAGOS - Expansive water with many scattered islands or a group of islands.

AUTHORITY - The right to enforce laws and regulations or to create policy.

AVERAGE WATER LEVEL - The arithmetic average of all past observations (of water levels or flows) for that month. The period of record used in this Study commences January 1900. This term is used interchangeable with monthly-mean water level.

AWNED SEDGE - An endangered species in New York State that is known as Carex atherodes or sedge.

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