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A watershed is an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. It can also be an area of a line of mountains from which rivers drain, a ridge between two rivers. Watersheds are the areas around where you live that help run off and erosion get to main river ways or eventually oceans.

Why Watersheds Are Important

Watersheds are important because the surface water features and storm water runoff within a watershed ultimately drain to other bodies of water. It is essential to consider these downstream impacts when developing and implementing water quality protection and restoration actions. Unfortunately various forms of pollution, including runoff and erosion, can interfere with the health of the watershed. [1] Therefore, it is important to protect the quality of our watershed. Watersheds sustain life, in more ways than one. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than $450 billion in foods, fiber, manufactured goods and tourism depend on clean, healthy watersheds. That is why proper watershed protection is necessary to you and your community. Earth is covered in 70% water and unfortunately 40-50% of our nation's waters are impaired or threatened. "Impaired" means that the water body does not support one or more of its intended uses. This could mean that the water is not suitable to drink, swim in or to consume the fish that was caught there. [2] The leading causes of pollution in our waterways are sediments, bacteria (such as Ecoli) and excess nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphorus). Although nutrients sound like things that belong in a healthy environment, they can cause big problems in a poorly managed watershed. For instance, sediment can suffocate fish by clogging their gills and the presence of bacteria alone can indicate that other viruses and germs can be found in the water as well. Erosion, runoff of animal waste and overflowing of combined sewers are just a few ways these pollutants reach our waters. [3]

Protection of Watersheds

Watersheds are so very important that there are companies and agencies all over the country to help take care and protect the watersheds. Many agencies work alongside with people involved in environmental protection and government officials. There are also many jobs that can be found to help take data entries and collect samples to keep track of the watershed's health. [4]The environmental protection and government officials can help pass laws and keep watersheds clean and protected from hazards.The protection of watersheds is very important to all parts of the living system. Without clean water there is sick animals and that means poor food sources for other animals and humans who eat them and the cycle continues to spiral down. There are people and companies around the world that go out and test the water in the watersheds. There is also companies that go out and take care of trash and maintain the grounds around important watersheds. The more people take care of watersheds the better the environment around them will be. The importance of the watershed and its protection and maintenance can not be stressed enough. [5]

Pittsburgh River Watershed

See also

Other closely related articles in this wiki include:


  1. Knutsen, K. (2016, September 1). Four Visions Of Change For The Yahara Watershed | WisContext. Retrieved September 8, 2016, from http://www.wiscontext.org/four-visions-change-yahara-watershed
  2. Melander, G. (2016, September 10). A tale of two watersheds | Local | chippewa.com. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://chippewa.com/dunnconnect/news/local/a-tale-of-two-watersheds/article_f52d92bf-019c-5305-b3a3-76f1595b0379.html
  3. Miller, B. (2016, August 18). Watershed research grants | UDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://www.udel.edu/udaily/2016/august/delaware-watershed-research/
  4. Fox43. (2016, September 13). Majority of Conservation Districts in Bay Watershed agree to work with DEP to reduce runoff | WPMT FOX43. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from http://fox43.com/2016/09/13/majority-of-conservation-districts-in-bay-watershed-agree-to-work-with-dep-to-reduce-runoff/
  5. Drumm, L. (2016, September 11). Cleanup rids French Creek Watershed of lots of trash | News | meadvilletribune.com. Retrieved September 20, 2016, from [1]

External links

Relevant online sources to this wiki article include: