Why are Watersheds important?

Watershed Diagram

A watershed is the area of land that drains rain and snow to a common body of water, such as a stream, river or lake.  Our landscape is made up of interconnected watersheds.

We all live in a watershed

Watersheds are the places we call home, where we work and where we play. What we do on the land impacts the quality and quantity of water and other natural resources. Healthy watersheds are not only vital for a healthy environment, but also for a healthy economy.

Every watershed is different - they are as diverse as our landscape and are formed by many unique shapes and uses, from natural hills and forested valleys and wetlands to manmade farms and cities. 

In Northeast Ohio there are about 25 different watersheds - Cuyahoga River, Big Creek, Rocky River, Euclid Creek, and Doan Brook, to name a few. All of the water that flows into these creeks and rivers eventually makes its way to Lake Erie, our source of drinking water. Each watershed has its own water-quality issues, but in Cuyahoga County most are impacted by urban development. Impervious (hard) surfaces in a watershed contribute to storm water pollution. When snow melts or rainwater runs over these hard surfaces, it takes any pollutants on the ground with it such as fertilizers, pet waste, oil and gas. 

You can help improve the health of your watershed by incorporating good conservation practices at your home or business. Reduce impervious surfaces, install a rain barrel, plant native plants, trees or a rain garden, clean up after your pet, keep waste out of storm drains and streams, and most importantly, get involved with your local conservation/watershed groups and take part in keeping your watershed healthy.

Claire Posius is the Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District.

Claire Posius

Euclid Creek Watershed Coordinator, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District

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Volume 6, Issue 2, Posted 6:51 PM, 03.14.2014