Maps, Forms & Glossary


In the Waterfront Navigator glossary, we’ve compiled regulatory terms and definitions from agency documents, environmental terms you will come across when doing work in wetlands and in coastal areas, and abbreviations used by agencies or on this site. Definitions cite the sources, with links back to original documents or websites for further reference.


Light duty boom, usually a pair, used to deploy launch or lifeboat from mother vessel. (US Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Glossary, 2015)


Water management practice or system that delays the downstream progress of storm water by the use of temporary storage or metered outlets. (US Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Glossary, 2015)

Determination of Significance

Based on the information presented in an EAS, the decision made by the lead agency whether or not a project significantly and adversely impacts the environment. The three types are: Negative Declaration, Positive Declaration, or Conditional Negative Declaration. (NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability)

Docking facility

Any marina, boat basin, marine terminal, and any other areas on navigable waters containing a single structure or a collection of related structures, such as docks, piers, platforms, bulkheads, breakwaters, and pilings, used for the reception, securing, and protection of boats, ships, barges or other water craft. (Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, Title 6. Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Chapter 5. Subchapter E, Part 608. Use and Protection of Waters, Definitions)


Any substance or material, floatable or otherwise including, but not limited to oil, sludge and oil refuse, gasoline, gas, offal, piles, lumber, timber, driftwood, dirt, ashes, cinders, mud, sand, dredged material, acid, chemicals, or any refuse which may cause damage to any vessel or craft or which may obstruct the waters of the port of The City of New York, or which may be a hazard to any person, property or marine life. (Rules of the City of New York, Title 66: Department of Small Business Services)

Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS)

An environmental assessment statement is a form used to describe the proposed action, its location, and contains a first level of analysis of the environmental review impact areas to determine potential effects on the environment. It is used by a lead agency to inform the Determination of Significance. (NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): An environmental impact statement (EIS) is a disclosure document that provides a complete analysis of all appropriate impact areas and provides a means for agencies, project sponsors, and the public to consider an action's significant adverse environmental impacts, alternatives, and mitigations. An EIS facilitates the weighing of social, economic, and environmental factors early in the planning and decision-making process. A draft EIS (DEIS) is the initial statement that is circulated for public review and comment, which are then incorporated (as appropriate) into the DEIS to produce a final EIS (FEIS). The FEIS is the disclosure document upon which the lead and involved agencies base their decisions as set forth in a Statement of Findings. (NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability)

Ephemeral stream

An ephemeral stream has flowing water only during, and for a short duration after, precipitation events in a typical year. Ephemeral stream beds are located above the water table year-round. Groundwater is not a source of water for the stream. Runoff from rainfall is the primary source of water for stream flow. (US Army Corps of Engineers, 2012 Nationwide Permits, Conditions, and Definitions)


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

FEMA Flood Hazard Shaded Zone X

Areas of moderate flood risk within the 0.2% annual chance floodplain; or areas of 1% annual chance flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, where the drainage area is less than 1 square mile, or areas protected from this flood level by a levee. (FEMA)

FEMA Flood Hazard Unshaded Zone X

Areas of low flood risk outside the 1%- and 0.2%-annual chance floodplains. (FEMA)

FEMA Flood Hazard Zone A/AE

An area of high flood risk subject to inundation by the 1% annual-chance flood event. (FEMA)

FEMA Flood Hazard Zone AO

An area of high flood risk subject to inundation by 1% annual-chance shallow flooding where average depths are between one and three feet. (FEMA)

FEMA Flood Hazard Zone D

Areas where flood hazards are undetermined but flooding is possible. (FEMA)

FEMA Flood Hazard Zone V/VE

An area of high flood risk subject to inundation by the 1% annual-chance flood event with additional hazards due to storm-induced velocity wave action (a 3-foot or higher breaking wave). (FEMA)

Floodplain (100-year floodplain)

Synonymous with 100-year floodplain. The land area susceptible to being inundated by stream derived waters with a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. (US Army Corps of Engineers, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory Glossary, 2015)

Formerly connected tidal wetlands (FC)

The tidal wetlands zone, designated FC on an inventory map, in which normal tidal flow is restricted by man-made causes. Typical tidal wetland plant species may exist in such areas although they may be infiltrated with common reed, Phragmites sp. (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation)

Freshwater wetlands

"Freshwater wetlands" or "wetlands" means lands and waters of the state which meet the definition provided in subdivision 24-0107(1) of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and have an area of at least 12.4 acres (approximately 5 hectares) or, if smaller, have unusual local importance as determined by the NYS DEC Commissioner pursuant to subdivision 24-0301(1) of the Freshwater Wetlands Act and 6 NYCRR Part 664. (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, In-Water and Riparian Management of Sediment and Dredged Material, November 2004)