What is a Watershed

Watershed Protection

Watersheds and people

A change in the watershed affects our lives… a change that we make in the landscape affects the watershed. It’s all connected. Nature’s changes can be as quiet as branches building up behind a fallen log and changing the path of a stream. Or they can be as dramatic as a springtime flood. Our actions, too, can be subtle or very dramatic… but they all affect someone or something. When we cut forests, clear land, lay concrete and asphalt, and build houses and towns we cause changes in the watershed. Those changes mean the water cycle works differently.

Rain striking the ground has fewer places to soak in gradually… runoff is faster and more violent… causing erosion and flooding. Water quality deteriorates as water drains from farms and cities carrying pesticides, animal waste, oil and heavy metals into our groundwater, streams, and eventually, the Great Lakes. Streams and fish habitat are damaged.

Watershed Impacts

An Unhealthy watershed

  • Pollutes: Waterways, air, soils, and wetlands
  • Destroys: Plants, wildlife, wells, sanitation systems, and roads
  • Reduces: Land Values, community pride, and recreational opportunities
  • Fouls: Water Habitats, soils, natural aquifers, air quality, and overall ecosytem

A Healthy watershed provides:

  • Clean air, land and water
  • Healthy plants, wildlife, and people
  • Natural balance and fewer invasive species

The watersheds, the water cycle and our lives are all interconnected. Any action, anywhere, affects the land, the water, and ultimately, us. To learn more, visit our Homeowners page.