Assimilative Capacity

Sometimes referred to more simply as “assimilation“, assimilative capacity is the capacity of a natural water body to receive waste water, toxins, or polluted runoff without harmful effects and damage to aquatic life and humans who consume or use its...

Invasive Species

In honor of it being National Invasive Species Awareness Week, our Watershed Word of the Week is Invasive Species.  An invasive species is any plant or animal species that was introduced to an area that it is not native to.  These species tend to disrupt and adversely...

Wetlands

Wetlands come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.  “Wetland” is a broad term that indicates an area with hydric soils (wet long enough to develop an oxygen depleted layer) and the ability to sustain aquatic plants. A classic Maine wetland, a slow flowing...

Impervious Surfaces

An impervious surface is a surface that does not allow water to pass through it.  Most impervious surfaces are artificial or “man-made”, but some surfaces can become impervious naturally, like a herd path or a walking path from soil compaction. Rooftops,...

Eutrophication

Depending on the source you look at, “eutrophication” refers to the process by which a body of water acquires a high concentration of nutrients, especially phosphates and nitrates (Art, 1993).  Typically, when a water body undergoes eutrophication, it...

Riparian Zone

The riparian zone is the interface between the land and a stream or river.  Riparian zones are EXTREMELY important landscapes acting as buffers or “biofilters” that protect aquatic environments from excessive sedimentation, polluted surface runoff, and...