Estuaries: A partially enclosed body of water, and its surrounding coastal habitats, where saltwater from the ocean mixes with fresh water from rivers or streams. The resulting mixture of seawater and fresh water is called brackish water and its salinity can range from 0.5 to 35 ppt. (accessed Large natural streams of FRESH WATER formed by converging tributaries and which empty into a body of water (lake or ocean).Seawater: The salinated water of OCEANS AND SEAS that provides habitat for marine organisms.Salinity: Degree of saltiness, which is largely the OSMOLAR CONCENTRATION of SODIUM CHLORIDE plus any other SALTS present. It is an ecological factor of considerable importance, influencing the types of organisms that live in an ENVIRONMENT.Geologic Sediments: A mass of organic or inorganic solid fragmented material, or the solid fragment itself, that comes from the weathering of rock and is carried by, suspended in, or dropped by air, water, or ice. It refers also to a mass that is accumulated by any other natural agent and that forms in layers on the earth's surface, such as sand, gravel, silt, mud, fill, or loess. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1689)Ostreidae: A family of marine mollusks in the class BIVALVIA, commonly known as oysters. They have a rough irregular shell closed by a single adductor muscle.DelawareBays: An area of water mostly surrounded by land, usually smaller than a gulf, and affording access to the sea.Fresh Water: Water containing no significant amounts of salts, such as water from RIVERS and LAKES.Ecological Parameter Monitoring: Ongoing collection, analysis, and interpretation of ecological data that is used to assess changes in the components, processes, and overall condition and functioning of an ECOSYSTEM.Crassostrea: A genus of oysters in the family OSTREIDAE, class BIVALVIA.Ecosystem: A functional system which includes the organisms of a natural community together with their environment. (McGraw Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Pfiesteria piscicida: A dinoflagellate with a life cycle that includes numerous flagellated, amoeboid, and encysted stages. Both the flagellated and amoeboid forms produce toxins which cause open wounds on fish. Pfiesteria piscicida feeds on tissue sloughed from these wounds, as well as on bacteria and algae. It is found in Atlantic estuaries of the United States.Water Pollutants, Chemical: Chemical compounds which pollute the water of rivers, streams, lakes, the sea, reservoirs, or other bodies of water.Rhizophoraceae: A plant family of the order Rhizophorales, subclass Rosidae, class Magnoliopsida, that includes mangrove trees.Avicennia: A plant genus of the family Acanthaceae. Members contain NAPHTHOQUINONES. Black mangroves (common name for the genus) are distinguished from other mangroves by their spike-like aerial roots called pneumatophores that project from the soil or water surrounding the plants.Water Pollutants: Substances or organisms which pollute the water or bodies of water. Use for water pollutants in general or those for which there is no specific heading.Water Microbiology: The presence of bacteria, viruses, and fungi in water. This term is not restricted to pathogenic organisms.Tidal Waves: Water waves caused by the gravitational interactions between the EARTH; MOON; and SUN.Environmental Monitoring: The monitoring of the level of toxins, chemical pollutants, microbial contaminants, or other harmful substances in the environment (soil, air, and water), workplace, or in the bodies of people and animals present in that environment.Fisheries: Places for cultivation and harvesting of fish, particularly in sea waters. (from McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Oceans and Seas: A great expanse of continuous bodies of salt water which together cover more than 70 percent of the earth's surface. Seas may be partially or entirely enclosed by land, and are smaller than the five oceans (Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic).Seasons: Divisions of the year according to some regularly recurrent phenomena usually astronomical or climatic. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Water Movements: The flow of water in enviromental bodies of water such as rivers, oceans, water supplies, aquariums, etc. It includes currents, tides, and waves.Wetlands: Environments or habitats at the interface between truly terrestrial ecosystems and truly aquatic systems making them different from each yet highly dependent on both. Adaptations to low soil oxygen characterize many wetland species.Shellfish: Aquatic invertebrates belonging to the phylum MOLLUSCA or the subphylum CRUSTACEA, and used as food.Water Pollution: Contamination of bodies of water (such as LAKES; RIVERS; SEAS; and GROUNDWATER.)Phytoplankton: Free-floating minute organisms that are photosynthetic. The term is non-taxonomic and refers to a lifestyle (energy utilization and motility), rather than a particular type of organism. Most, but not all, are unicellular algae. Important groups include DIATOMS; DINOFLAGELLATES; CYANOBACTERIA; CHLOROPHYTA; HAPTOPHYTA; CRYPTOMONADS; and silicoflagellates.Cytophaga: A genus of gram-negative gliding bacteria found in SOIL; HUMUS; and FRESHWATER and marine habitats.Eutrophication: The enrichment of a terrestrial or aquatic ECOSYSTEM by the addition of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, that results in a superabundant growth of plants, ALGAE, or other primary producers. It can be a natural process or result from human activity such as agriculture runoff or sewage pollution. In aquatic ecosystems, an increase in the algae population is termed an algal bloom.Copepoda: A huge subclass of mostly marine CRUSTACEA, containing over 14,000 species. The 10 orders comprise both planktonic and benthic organisms, and include both free-living and parasitic forms. Planktonic copepods form the principle link between PHYTOPLANKTON and the higher trophic levels of the marine food chains.Population Density: Number of individuals in a population relative to space.Brachyura: An infraorder of chiefly marine, largely carnivorous CRUSTACEA, in the order DECAPODA, including the genera Cancer, Uca, and Callinectes.Dolphins: Mammals of the families Delphinidae (ocean dolphins), Iniidae, Lipotidae, Pontoporiidae, and Platanistidae (all river dolphins). Among the most well-known species are the BOTTLE-NOSED DOLPHIN and the KILLER WHALE (a dolphin). The common name dolphin is applied to small cetaceans having a beaklike snout and a slender, streamlined body, whereas PORPOISES are small cetaceans with a blunt snout and rather stocky body. (From Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, pp978-9)MaineOregonBiodiversity: The variety of all native living organisms and their various forms and interrelationships.Crenarchaeota: A kingdom in the domain ARCHAEA comprised of thermoacidophilic, sulfur-dependent organisms. The two orders are SULFOLOBALES and THERMOPROTEALES.Kelp: Large, robust forms of brown algae (PHAEOPHYCEAE) in the order Laminariales. They are a major component of the lower intertidal and sublittoral zones on rocky coasts in temperate and polar waters. Kelp, a kind of SEAWEED, usually refers to species in the genera LAMINARIA or MACROCYSTIS, but the term may also be used for species in FUCUS or Nereocystis.Bivalvia: A class in the phylum MOLLUSCA comprised of mussels; clams; OYSTERS; COCKLES; and SCALLOPS. They are characterized by a bilaterally symmetrical hinged shell and a muscular foot used for burrowing and anchoring.BrazilMid-Atlantic Region: A geographical area of the United States comprising the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.Geography: The science dealing with the earth and its life, especially the description of land, sea, and air and the distribution of plant and animal life, including humanity and human industries with reference to the mutual relations of these elements. (From Webster, 3d ed)Vibrio parahaemolyticus: A species of bacteria found in the marine environment, sea foods, and the feces of patients with acute enteritis.Haplosporida: A phylum of EUKARYOTES in the RHIZARIA group. They are small endoparasites of marine invertebrates. Spores are structurally complex but without polar filaments or tubes.Betaproteobacteria: A class in the phylum PROTEOBACTERIA comprised of chemoheterotrophs and chemoautotrophs which derive nutrients from decomposition of organic material.Zooplankton: Minute free-floating animal organisms which live in practically all natural waters.Plankton: Community of tiny aquatic PLANTS and ANIMALS, and photosynthetic BACTERIA, that are either free-floating or suspended in the water, with little or no power of locomotion. They are divided into PHYTOPLANKTON and ZOOPLANKTON.Nitrogen Compounds: Inorganic compounds that contain nitrogen as an integral part of the molecule.Gastropoda: A class in the phylum MOLLUSCA comprised of SNAILS and slugs. The former have coiled external shells and the latter usually lack shells.Aquaculture: Cultivation of natural faunal resources of water. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Atlantic OceanConservation of Natural Resources: The protection, preservation, restoration, and rational use of all resources in the total environment.Human Activities: Activities performed by humans.Population Dynamics: The pattern of any process, or the interrelationship of phenomena, which affects growth or change within a population.Cladocera: A suborder of CRUSTACEA, order Diplostraca, comprising the water fleas. They are benthic filter feeders that consume PHYTOPLANKTON. The body is laterally compressed and enclosed in a bivalved carapace, from which the head extends.Fishes: A group of cold-blooded, aquatic vertebrates having gills, fins, a cartilaginous or bony endoskeleton, and elongated bodies covered with scales.