Function of a Watershed

A watershed is an area of land that drains to the same body of water, like a river or a lake. Every drop of water that falls on a watershed that does not evaporate or is not used by plants will leave the watershed through this same body of water.

Watersheds contain water ecosystems made up of insects, animals, plants, ponds, lakes and streams. You can make changes in your environment that can help or hurt these ecosystems


Harmful changes occur from pollution and pollution happens when you:
  • Litter
  • Dump pet waste, oil, paint, trash or other pollutants down storm drains
  • Use harmful chemicals around your home or yard that wash into streams and storm drains
  • Cut down trees without replacement
  • Let storm water erode your yard

Ways to Help

Helpful changes reduce pollution and keep your watershed clean and attractive. Some things you can do:
  • Always pick up trash and pet waste
  • Properly dispose of oil, paint, and other harmful waste
  • Plant trees, shrubs, grass and other vegetation to prevent erosion
  • Reduce application of fertilizers and pesticides to garden and lawn areas
  • Report illegal dumping to your local police or health department