Glossary of Environmental Terms

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factory farming - large-scale, industrialized agriculture.

factory ships - industrial-style ships used for the large-scale collection and processing of fish.

family planning - a system of limiting family size and the frequency of childbearing by the appropriate use of contraceptive techniques.

fauna - the total animal population that inhabits an area.

federal land - land owned and administered by the federal government, including national parks and national forests.

feedlots - a plot of ground used to feed farm animals.

fertility - the ability to reproduce; in humans, the ability to bear children.

fertility rates - average number of live births per woman during her reproductive years, among a given set of people.

filibuster- a tactic used to delay or stop a vote on a bill by making long floor speeches and debates.

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fiscal year - a financial term referring to any twelve-month period, usually to set a budget. The federal government's fiscal year begins October 1.

fisheries - an established area where fish species are cultivated and caught.

fissile material - material fissionable by slow neutrons. The fission process and the fissile isotopes are the source of energy in nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors.

fission - the process whereby the nucleus of a particular heavy element splits into (generally) two nuclei of lighter elements, with the release of substantial amounts of energy.

flora - the total vegetation assemblage that inhabits an area.

Florida Bay - bay at southern tip of Florida which is bounded by the Florida Keys.

forest certification - a process of labeling wood that has been harvested from a well-managed forest.

forests - lands on which trees are the principal plant life, usually conducive to wide biodiversity.

fossil fuel - a fuel, such as coal, oil, and natural gas, produced by the decomposition of ancient (fossilized) plants and animals; compare to alternative energy.

Fresh Kills - New York City's only operating landfill, located in Staten Island. Infamous as the largest landfill in the world.

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