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Adapted from the Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Study


BARRIER BEACH - An offshore ridge of unconsolidated material (sand, pebbles, etc.) that runs parallel to a coastline, is formed in part by high tides and acts as a natural barrier.

BASIN -The rounded depression of a lake bed.

BASIN (LAKE ONTARIO - ST. LAWRENCE RIVER) - The surface area contributing runoff to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River downstream to Trois Rivières, Quebec.

BASIN; WATERSHED -The region or area of which the surface waters and groundwater ultimately drain into a particular course or body of water.

BATHYMETRY - The measurement and charting of water depths in large bodies of water; also information derived from such measurements.

BEACH -The zone of unconsolidated material that extends landward from the average annual low water level to either the place where there is marked change in material or physiographic form, the line of permanent vegetation, or the high water mark.

BENEFICIAL CONSEQUENCE - Positive implication of fluctuating water levels for social, economic, environmental or political investments.

BENTHOS - The plants and animals that live at the bottom of a body of water (ocean, river, lake, pond, etc.) either attached or unattached to substrate (sediment, rock, plant, etc.).

BIOTA - All plants and animals living in a given area.

BIRD GUILD -1. A group of birds that have similar breeding habits. 2. A group of birds, not necessarily of the same species, that depend on the same environmental resources.

BLUFF- A steep bank or cliff or variable heights, composed of glacial tills and lacustrine deposits consisting of clay, silt, gravel and boulders.

BOAT LAUNCHING RAMP - A sloping structure allowing small recreational water craft and trailers access to water.

BOUNDARY WATERS TREATY OF 1909 -The agreement between the United States and Canada that established principles and mechanisms for the resolution of disputes between the two countries related to water. The International Joint Commission was created as a result of this treaty.

BREAKWATER - A barrier built offshore to protect a harbor or a beach from the force of waves.

BUFFER ZONE - The minimum amount of land needed between a structure and an eroding shoreline before shoreline protection is needed.

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Learn more about the history of regulating water levels and flows on Lake Ontario

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