Glossary: Susquehanna River pollution

York Dispatch

Video: Young environmentalist Brynn Kelly at work

Video: Searching for cause of smallmouth bass die-offs

Slideshow: The health of the Susquehanna River

2005 fish kill: Widespread, disease-related mortalities of young smallmouth bass recorded in the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers that is believed to have been caused by stressful water conditions. The populations in the rivers have not since recovered to pre-2005 levels.

TMDL: Total maximum daily load, or "pollution diet," set by the Environmental Protection Agency; identifies the maximum amount of a pollutant the waterway can receive and still meet water quality standards

WIP: Watershed implementation plans, which serve as roadmaps for how and when a jurisdiction plans to meet its pollutant allocations under the TMDL; Chesapeake Bay states Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York and West Virginia and the District of Columbia each develop a plan.

Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Blueprint: The Chesapeake Bay Foundation's name for the combination of the EPA-imposed TMDL and bay states' WIPs.

Watershed: An area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins or seas.

Forest buffers: Trees, shrubs or other plants grown next to rivers and streams to hinder nutrients and sediments from flowing directly into the bodies of water, preventing further erosion and reducing flooding.

Nutrient management: Scientific methods associated with soil and water conservation practices to optimize efficient use of nutrients to minimize excess pollution. It guides, for example, manure application so nutrients are provided at a correct rate, time and place.

Conservation tillage: A system of cultivating that reduces soil or water loss; keeps soil and nutrients in place and reduces labor and fuel needed for crop cultivation.

Urban infiltration practices: Practices in urban and suburban environments to capture and store rainfall and surface runoff; reduce pollutants entering waterways, increase groundwater recharge and decrease volume of stormwater runoff.

Endocrine disrupter: Chemicals that, at certain doses, can interfere with hormone systems in mammals; can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects and other developmental disorders.