adapt – to modify, often to better respond to new conditions

aerate – to mix air with a substance (like soil or water)

agriculture – the practice of managing plants, animals, or fungi and their ecosystem to grow food, fiber, fuel, and medicines

anatomy – the study of bodily structures in both plants and animals

biodiversity – the range of different types of plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria living together

biomass – living or previously living material; organic matter

botany – the study of plants

breeding – the processes which produce offspring for plants and animals

coastal – located at the water’s edge

coastal upland habitat – habitat along a coastline that is above the average high tide line

compost – decayed organic material

crop – any cultivated plant, fungus or algae that harvested by humans, for use as food, clothing, medicine, fuel, animal feed, etc.

crop rotation – the practice of changing what crop is planted on a parcel of land from season to season

cultivate – to prepare and care for something so that it grows and improves

dredge – to scoop out, often referring to removal of sediment in a river or harbor

ecology – a field of science that studies the relationships between living and non-living things

ecosystem – a community of plants, animals and their non-living environment

emergent wetland – wetland with upright, water-loving plants that are partially beneath and partially above the water

erosion – the process by which water and/or wind transport soil and sediment from one location to another

estuary – site where a river meets the ocean; often characterized by tidal changes and mixing of saltwater with freshwater

family – a group of species that share characteristics; e.g. mammals have fur and warm blood and give birth to live children

fertility – the ability to grow and support new life

forage – to seek plants to eat

freshwater wetland – habitat characterized by wet or flooded soils and plants that prefer to grow in fresh (not salty) water

groundwater- water found beneath the surface of the earth

habitat – home for plants and animals

invasive species – a plant or animal introduced where it was not previously found, often by human disturbance; invasive species can lack predators and outcompete existing species for resources

littoral – relating to or situated on a shoreline

migration – when an organism moves from one region to another, often with a change of seasons.

migratory habitat – a location where animals that migrate pause for food and shelter

native – original to or originating from a particular place

nitrogen – an element that allows plants to make chlorophyll (the green in their leaves and stems) and are part of the building blocks of cells

nitrogen input – a source of nitrogen (an element essential for plant growth), such as vehicle emissions and chemical fertilizers; too many nitrogen inputs causes an overabundance in an ecosystem, with negative effects

non-point source pollution – pollution that comes not from one single area but from many areas, such as runoff from roadways or smog from highways

nutrient – a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life

organic matter – living or previously living material; biomass

organically grown – grown in a way which encourages the cultivation of soil life and organic matter

overharvesting – harvesting of a resource until it is no longer able to replenish itself

oxygen – an element that animals breathe in and that plants release during photosynthesis

petroleum byproduct – material made using crude oil (gasoline, plastics, lubricants, asphalt)

photosynthesis – the process by which light from the sun helps plants make food from water and carbon dioxide in the air

pollinate – to move pollen from male flowers to female flowers, enabling production of fruit and seeds

pollutant – a substance that makes land, air, or water unsafe to use

predator – an animal which hunts and eats other animals

rainwater capture – the process of catching and holding rainwater for later use

restore – to bring back; return to its original condition

riprap – a type of coastal defense made from rocks and installed without mortar

seawall – a constructed barrier protecting land from the potentially destructive processes of rivers and oceans

second growth – habitat that has regrown after a major disturbance such as fire, clear cutting, or pest damage

soil – the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, comprising a mixture of organic matter and mineral particles

stormwater runoff – water from rain and snow that moves across the land, and especially across hard surfaces like roads and parking lots, instead of being absorbed into the ground

sustainable – capable of remaining diverse and productive for long periods of time

swamp – a wetland that has trees which create a canopy

tidal salt marsh – brackish or saltwater coastal habitat that is flooded and drained by the tides, where specialized salt- and water-loving plants are found; considered among the most biologically productive habitats in the world

tide – the rise and fall of sea water, caused by rotation of the earth and by the moon and sun orbiting around it

understory – a layer of vegetation beneath the canopy of a forest

upland – an area of higher land

urban ecology – the scientific study of the relationship between living organisms and non-living elements of in a city (urban) environment

water quality – the chemical, physical, and biological properties of water

watershed – an area of land that drains into a specific water body

wetland – land saturated with water for all or part of the year