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Glossary

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303(d) list
Section 303(d) of the federal Clean Water Act requires Washington State to periodically prepare a list of all surface waters in the state for which beneficial uses of the water (drinking, recreation, aquatic habitat, and industrial use) are impaired by pollutants. These are water quality limited estuaries, lakes, and streams that fall short of state surface water quality standards, and are not expected to improve within the next 2 years. Read more...

100-year floodplain
See WAC 173-22-030(4) for full definition.


A

Adjacent
Means bordering, contiguous, or neighboring. Wetlands separated from other waters of the United States by man-made dikes or barriers, natural river berms, beach dunes and the like are adjacent wetlands. (33 CFR 328)

Aquatic Bedlands
The area waterward of and below the line of navigability on non-tidal rivers and lakes, below the extreme low tide mark in navigable tidal waters, or below the outer harbor line where a harbor has been created. Means bordering, contiguous, or neighboring. Wetlands separated from other waters of the United States by man-made dikes or barriers, natural river berms, beach dunes and the like are adjacent wetlands. (33 CFR 328)

Aquatic shorelands
The shore areas of non-tidal navigable lakes or rivers between the ordinary high water line and the line of navigability unless otherwise established.

Aquatic tidelands
The area between the ordinary high tide line and extreme low tide line (unless otherwise established).

Aquifer recharge area
An area that is critical in maintaining groundwater quantity and quality. Read more...


B

Background conditions
The biological, chemical, and physical conditions of a water body outside the area of influence of the discharge considered in the permit application.

Bank
Any land surface above the ordinary high water line that adjoins a body of water and contains it except during floods. Bank also includes all land surfaces of islands above the ordinary high water line that adjoin a water body and that are below the flood elevation of their surrounding water body. See WAC 220-110-020(7) for full definition.

Bed
The land below the ordinary high water lines of state waters. This definition shall not include irrigation ditches, canals, storm water run-off devices, or other artificial watercourses except where they exist in a natural watercourse that has been altered by man. See WAC 220-110-020(9) for full definition.

Brackish waters
Waters with a salinity intermediate between seawater and freshwater, usually showing wide salinity fluctuations.

Bridge
Any structure that transports traffic or materials across a navigable water, including pipelines and conveyor belts.

Bulkhead
A vertical or nearly vertical erosion protection structure placed parallel to the shoreline consisting of concrete, timber, steel, rock, or other permanent material not readily subject to erosion.


C

Cubic yard (cu yd)
A measure of volume computed by multiplying length by width by depth (1 yard x 1 yard x 1 yard). 1 cubic yard = 27 cubic feet.


D

Delineation
The process of determining the boundary of a wetland in a specific location.

Discharge of fill material
Placing fill material into waters of the United States.

Dredging
The removal of bed material using other than hand held tools.


E

Emergency
An immediate threat to life, public or private property, or an immediate threat of serious environmental degradation, arising from weather or stream flow conditions, other natural conditions, or fire.

Estuarine Waters
Waters that are semienclosed by land but have open, partly obstructed, or sporadic access to the ocean, and in which seawater is at least occasionally diluted by freshwater runoff from land. Estuarine waters of the state include adjacent tidal flats and beaches up to the limit of tidal inundation or wave splash.


F

Fill material
Any material that will change the bottom elevation of an aquatic area, wetland, or water body.

Fish life
All fish species, including but not limited to food fish, shellfish, game fish, and other nonclassified fish species and all stages of development of those species.

Frequently flooded areas
Lands in the floodplain subject to a 1 percent or greater chance of flooding in any given year. These areas include, but are not limited to, streams, rivers, lakes, coastal areas, and wetlands. See WAC 365-190-030(8) for full definition.


G

Geologically hazardous areas
Areas that are not suited to siting commercial, residential, or industrial development consistent with public health or safety concerns because of their susceptibility to erosion, sliding, earthquake, or other geological events. See WAC 365-190-030(9) for full definition.


H

Habitat
What plants and animals call home. Habitat for a particular plant or animal consists of the elements it needs to survive and may be tied to temperature, water, soil, sunlight, source of food, refuge from predators, places to reproduce, and other living and non-living factors. Read more...

Hydraulic Project
Construction or performance of other work that will use, divert, obstruct, or change the natural flow or bed of any of the salt or fresh waters of the state. See WAC 220-110-020(52) for full definition.

Hydric soil
Soil that is saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation (US Department of Agriculture-Soil Conservation Service 1985). Hydric soils that occur in areas having positive indicators of hydrophytic vegetation and wetland hydrology are wetland soils.


I

Impact
For purposes of this JARPA any activity in or adjacent to a waterbody should be considered an impact; impacts may be temporary or permanent.


J

JARPA
Joint Aquatic Resources Permit Application. Fill out a JARPA to apply for Hydraulic Project Approvals, Shoreline Management Permits, Water Quality Certifications, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 and Section 10 permits.


K

None.


L

Lake
A lake is a still body of fresh or brackish water larger than 20 acres. Most of its area is too deep for plants to grow on the bottom. See WAC 173-20-030 for full definition.


M

Mitigation
Can include:

  • Avoiding the impact altogether by not taking a certain action or parts of an action.
  • Minimizing impacts by limiting the degree or magnitude of the action and its implementation, appropriate technology, or by taking affirmative steps to avoid or reduce impacts.
  • Rectifying the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment.
  • Reducing or eliminating the impact over time by preservation and maintenance operations during the life of the action.
  • Compensating for the impact by replacing, enhancing, or providing substitute resources or environments.
  • Monitoring the impact and taking appropriate corrective measures.

Marine
Relating to the seas and oceans.

Mean High Water and Mean Higher High Water Tidal Elevations
The determination of tidal elevation is obtained by averaging each day's highest tide at a particular location over a period of 19 years, measured from mean lower low water, which equals 0.0 total elevation. See WAC 220-110-020 for full definition.

Mean Lower Low Water
The 0.0 tidal elevation, determined by averaging each day's lowest tide at a particular location over a period of 19 years. It is the tidal datum for vertical tidal references in the salt water area.

Mixing Zone
The area of a water body next to an effluent outfall where the effluent is diluted by mixing with the receiving water. Water quality criteria may be exceeded in a mixing zone under conditions in WAC 173-201A-400.


N

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was adopted by Congress in 1969 to ensure evaluation of the probable environmental consequences of a proposal before federal agencies make decisions. NEPA also allows federal agencies to change, condition, or deny proposals based on environmental considerations. NEPA applies to:

  • Federal projects.
  • Projects requiring a federal permit.
  • Projects receiving federal funding.

Nationwide Permit
A permit issued by the Corps of Engineers for projects with minimal impacts. Read more...

Navigable Waters of the United States
Waters that are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide and/or are presently used, or have been used in the past, or may be susceptible for use to transport interstate or foreign commerce. A determination of navigability, once made, applies laterally over the entire surface of the waterbody, and is not extinguished by later actions or events which impede or destroy navigable capacity. Precise definitions of navigable waters of the United States or navigability are ultimately dependent on judicial interpretation and cannot be made conclusively by administrative agencies. (Source: 33 CFR 329) Read more...


O

Ordinary High Water Mark or Line
The visible line on the banks of a water body where the presence and action of water is so common that it leaves a mark on the soil or vegetation. If the ordinary high water line cannot be found, it is measured as the line of mean higher high water adjoining saltwater and the elevation of the mean annual flood adjoining freshwater. See WAC 220-110-020(69) for full definition.


P

Pond
A pond is a body of still fresh or brackish water shallow enough for sunlight to reach the bottom, allowing rooted plants to grow anywhere across its area.


Q

None.


R

Riparian areas
The transition area between land and water environments. It is the upland area adjacent to streams, lakes, wetlands and marine waters that can support the proper functioning of those waterbodies and provide habitat for wildlife. If you have a stream or creek running through your land, then you have a riparian area on your property. Read more...

River
A fairly large, moving body of fresh or brackish water that travels within a channel. See WAC 220-110-020(105) for a full definition.


S

Shorelands
All water areas of the state, including reservoirs, and their associated wetlands, together with the lands underlying them, except stream segments upstream of the point where mean annual flow is less than 20 cubic feet per second, and lakes less than 20 acres in size.

Shorelines of the State
All water areas of the state, including reservoirs, and their associated wetlands, together with the lands underlying them, except stream segments upstream of the point where mean annual flow is less than 20 cubic feet per second, and lakes less than 20 acres in size. Read more...

Soil series

A group of soils defined by the Natural Resource Conservation Service and described in soil surveys. Soils in a series have similar characteristics such as texture, color, horizons, and profiles. Read more...

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
SEPA provides the framework for agencies to consider the environmental consequences of a proposal before taking action. It also gives agencies the ability to condition or deny a proposal due to identified likely significant adverse impacts. SEPA Chapter 43.21C RCW. SEPA was enacted in 1971 and is implemented through the SEPA Rules, Chapter 197-11 WAC. Read more...


T

Tributary
A stream or river that flows into a larger stream or river.

Turbidity
The clarity of water expressed as nephelometric turbidity units (NTU) and measured with a calibrated turbidimeter.


U

Upland
Any area that does not qualify as a wetland because it does not have the characteristics associated with wetlands.


V

None.


W

Waters of the U.S.
Includes lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground water, salt waters, estuaries, tidal flats, beaches, and lands adjoining the seacoast of the state, sewers, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the U.S.

Watercourse
Any portion of a channel, bed, bank, or bottom waterward of the ordinary high water line of waters of the state including areas in which fish may spawn, reside, or through which they may pass, and tributary waters with defined bed or banks, which influence the quality of fish habitat downstream. This includes watercourses which flow on an intermittent basis or which fluctuate in level during the year and applies to the entire bed of such watercourse whether or not the water is at peak level. This definition does not include irrigation ditches, canals, storm water run-off devices, or other entirely artificial watercourses, except where they exist in a natural watercourse which has been altered by humans. See WAC 220-110-020(105) for full definition.

Waterbody
A river, creek, stream, lake, pool, bay, wetland, marsh, swamp, tidal flat, ocean, or other water area.

Waters of the State
Includes lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground water, salt waters, estuaries, tidal flats, beaches and lands adjoining the seacoast of the state, sewers, and all other surface waters and watercourses within the jurisdiction of the state of Washington.

Wetlands
Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas. They are areas that are inundated or saturated by surface water or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Read more...

WRIA
Water Resource Inventory Area. A system that the Department of Ecology and other state resource agencies use to number and catalog watersheds, streams, and rivers in the state of Washington. WRIAs were formalized under Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 173-500-040 and authorized under the Water Resources Act of 1971, Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 90.54. Read more...


X

None.

Y

None.

Z

None.