Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)An ongoing series of long-duration changes in the sea surface temperature of the North Atlantic Ocean, with cool and warm phases that may last for 20–40 years at a time and a difference of about 1°F between extremes. These changes are natural and have been occurring for at least the last 1,000 years. The AMO has affected air temperatures and rainfall over much of the Northern Hemisphere—particularly in North America and Europe—and is associated with changes in the frequency of North American droughts and of severe Atlantic hurricanes. Also, it alternately obscures and exaggerates the global increase in temperatures due to human activities.

Best management practices (BMPs)Effective, practical methods that prevent or reduce the movement of sediment, nutrients, pesticides, and other pollutants resulting from agricultural, industrial, or other societal activities from the land to surface or groundwater or that optimize water use.

Central and Southern Florida (C&SF) Project for Flood Control and Other PurposesA multipurpose project, first authorized by the U.S. Congress in 1948, to provide flood control, water supply protection, water quality protection, and natural resource protection.

Clean Water Act (CWA)The Clean Water Act is the cornerstone of surface water quality protection in the United States. The statute employs a variety of regulatory and nonregulatory tools to reduce direct pollutant discharges into waterways, finance municipal wastewater treatment facilities, and manage polluted runoff. These tools help to achieve the broader goal of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters so that they can support the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and recreation in and on the water.

Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP)The plan for the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem authorized by Congress in 2000.

Conceptual ecological modelsNonquantitative, verbal or diagrammatic hypotheses about the major anthropogenic and natural drivers and stressors on natural systems, the ecological effects of these stressors, and the biological attributes or indicators of these ecological responses. They are used as planning tools for research and adaptive management.

Critical ProjectsProjects determined to be critical to the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem that were authorized in 1996 prior to the CERP. These

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