A unified statistical model is proposed to characterize turbulence-induced fading in underwater wireless optical communication (UWOC) channels in the presence of air bubbles and temperature gradient for fresh and salty waters, based on experimental data. In this model, the channel irradiance fluctuations are characterized by the mixture Exponential-Generalized Gamma (EGG) distribution. We use the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm to obtain the maximum likelihood parameter estimation of the new model. Interestingly, the proposed model is shown to provide a perfect fit with the measured data under all channel conditions for both types of water. The major advantage of the new model is that it has a simple mathematical form making it attractive from a performance analysis point of view. Indeed, we show that the application of the EGG model leads to closed-form and analytically tractable expressions for key UWOC system performance metrics such as the outage probability, the average bit-error rate, and the ergodic capacity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first-ever comprehensive channel model addressing the statistics of optical beam irradiance fluctuations in underwater wireless optical channels due to both air bubbles and temperature gradient.