Glossary of Terms
The branch of science studying the interactions among living things and their environment.
The living organisms and the nonliving environment interacting in a given area, encompassing the relationships between biological, geochemical, and geophysical systems.
A community or several communities of organisms together with their physical environment. A conceptual view of interaction within and independence among species and communities emphasizing the nature of the flow of material and energy among these parts and the feedback loops from one part to another.
Warm equatorial water which flows southward along the coast of Peru and Ecuador during February and March of certain years. It is caused by poleward motions of air and unusual water temperature patterns in the Pacific Ocean , which cause coastal downwelling, leading to the reversal in the normal north-flowing cold coastal currents. During many El Niño years, storms, rainfall, and other meteorological phenomena in the Western Hemisphere are measurably different than during non- El Niño years.
A warm current that usually appears around Christmas off the coast of Ecuador and Peru . It is often used to refer to episodic (3-5 year) events when the current is particularly intense and dominates the local population of organisms (the abundance of fish in particular). Such events lead to wider regional or global ocean-atmospheric perturbations whose manifestations range from increased sea surface temperatures in the tropical East Pacific to aberrant rainfall patterns. (see also ENSO ).
Species native to and restricted to specific geographic areas.
A cyclical, large-scale changes in atmospheric and ocean patterns in which, among other things, warm surface water in the Pacific moves further to the east than normal. (See also El Niño ).
A process by which the consequences of planned development projects are evaluated as an integral part of planning the project.
The analysis of biological, physical, social and economic factors to determine the environmental and social consequences of a proposed development action. The goal of the EIA is to provide policy makers with the best available information in order to minimize economic costs and maximize benefits associated with a proposed development.
Procedures for valuing changes in environmental goods and services, whether or not they are traded in markets, by measuring the changes in the consumer or producer surpluses associated with these environmental goods.
The loss of sediment, sometimes indicated by the landward retreat of a shoreline indicator such as the water line, the berm crest, or the vegetation line.
Areas where coastal erosion has threatened shoreline development or infrastructure. Typically, the shoreline has been armored and the beach has narrowed considerably or been lost.
Areas where the coastal environment will soon be threatened if shoreline erosion trends continue.