Glossary of Environmental Terms

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warhead - the part of a missile which contains the nuclear explosive.

waste - garbage, trash.

waste site - dumping ground.

waste stream - overall waste disposal cycle for a given population.

waterborne contaminants - unhealthy chemicals, microorganisms (like bacteria) or radiation, found in tap water.

water filters - substances (such as charcoal) or fine membrane structures used to remove impurities from water.

water quality - the level of purity of water; the safety or purity of drinking water.

water quality testing - monitoring water for various contaminants to make sure it is safe for fish protection, drinking, and swimming.

watershed - a region or area over which water flows into a particular lake, reservoir, stream, or river.

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well - a dug or drilled hole used to get water from the earth.

wetland - land (marshes or swamps) saturated with water constantly or recurrently; conducive to wide biodiversity.

wilderness - land remaining in basically wild (i.e., undisturbed) condition, with few if any traces of human activities.

wilderness area - a wild area that Congress has preserved by including it in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

wildlife - animals living in the wilderness without human intervention.

wildlife refuges - land set aside to protect certain species of fish or wildlife (administered at the federal level in the U.S. by the Fish and Wildlife Service).

windpower - power or energy derived from the wind (via windmills, sails, etc.).

wise use movement - a loosely-affiliated network of people and organizations throughout the U.S. in favor of widespread privatization and opposed to environmental regulation, often funded by corporate dollars.

Woods Hole - a town on Cape Cod where several important ocean research institutes are located.

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