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Glossary of Terms

Bar-Built
Bar-built estuaries are formed when sandbars or barrier islands build up along the coastline by ocean currents and waves. These sandbars or barrier islands partially cut off the waters behind them from the sea, creating a protected area (in the form of a shallow lagoon or bay) fed by small streams or rivers. This type of estuary is usually shallow, with limited tidal interaction, so wind is often responsible for mixing the fresh and salt water.
Biotic
Pertaining to or resulting from living organisms.
Baseline
Measurements used as a basis for future comparisons.
Biodegradable
Capable of being broken down into natural components.
Bioaccumulate
The action whereby the concentration of a chemical in an organism increases over time compared to the chemical’s concentration in the environment.
Bar
A sandy bank or shoal that forms at the mouth of a river, harbor, bay or estuary.
Beach
A landform which borders a body of water such as an ocean, sea, river or lake; and usually consists of loose materials such as sand, gravel, pebbles or cobblestones.
Brackish
A mixture of fresh and saltwater typically found in estuarine areas
Bering Land Bridge
A strip of land that connected present-day eastern Siberia and Alaska during Earth's historic ice ages. The land was exposed when ocean levels dramatically decreased due to more water being frozen in large glaciers.
Biologist
A scientist who studies living organisms.

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