What is a Watershed?

Hey Pals! What's up? Clay Redding reporting and ready to answer your questions, like "What is a watershed?" and "How do you develop a watershed plan?"
Today's question comes from a young reader in Michigan named Michael.
Well Michael, according to the EPA, a watershed is the area of land that contributes runoff to a lake, river, stream, wetland, estuary, or bay.
It's our job to make sure that these waters stay protected, which is why there are watershed plans in place.
Watershed plans are a means to resolve and prevent water quality problems that result from both point source and nonpoint source problems. Watersehd plans are inteded to provide an analytic framework to restore water quality in other waters adversely affected or threatened by point source and non point source pollution. The plans help restore impaired and threatened waters.
A waterbody is impaired if it does not attain the water quality criteria associated with its designated use(s). Threatened waters are those that meet standards, but exhibit a declining trend in water quality such that they will likely exceed standards in the near future.
The steps to developing a watershed management plan are:
  1. Build Partnerships
  2. Characterize the Watershed
  3. Set Goals and Identify the Solutions
  4. Design Implementation Program
  5. Implement Watershed Plan
  6. Measure Progress and Make Adjustments

Want more details on each of these steps?
Ask us about our free Watershed Planning Process White Paper!

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