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What is a Watershed?

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A watershed describes an area of land that contains a common set of streams and rivers that all drain into a single larger body of water. A watershed can cover a small or large land area. Water runs into streams, rivers and lakes on the surface of a watershed, but it also filters through the soil. Some of this water eventually drains into the same waters through groundwater aquifers. This process is called “infiltration.” Water that runs off the surface of the land picks up nutrients and sediment. As it drains into the watershed, it deposits pollution in our streams and rivers. What we do within the watershed will have either a positive or negative effect on the water quality. 


Our goal is to implement practices that will benefit the health of the watershed. 

Watershed Example

The key word to remember regarding a watershed is “Connection.” Everything is connected to everything else in a watershed. Pick the type of property that is most similar to yours in the example to the right.. Maybe you live in town, or on a farm, or maybe you own forested land or even lake shore property. See how all kinds of land is connected to all the other types of land through the flow of water?

For example, lawns are connected to the street, which is connected to the storm sewers, which is connected to a stream, which is connected to a lake, etc... 


The water within a watershed is always moving. Therefore, what you do in your
property has the potential to affect many other places. Most often, a watershed connects with a major river or lake.

To protect one, we must protect them all.

What type of land do you own?

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