What is a Watershed?
How does all the water get into your lake or river? Where does it come from? The answer is quite simple if you think about it. The water flows through the ground or on the surface of the ground, to the lowest points such as a stream which then runs into the river and eventually the sea. The landscape around you acts as a catch basin for surface water and is called a watershed.
The Lackawanna County Conservation District uses a watershed approach to address pollution, including both point and non-point source. Point source pollution is easier to identify because it is usually something such as municipal or industrial wastewater coming from a distinct “point” such as a sewer outfall. Non-point source pollution on the other hand, cannot be traced as easy. This type of pollution is diverse and comes from everyday land use activities such as:
- Agriculture – if not following best management practices there may be excess nutrient loading and erosion
- Residential Development – more impervious surface (roofs, roads, etc.) cause more storm water runoff at higher flows causing erosion and carrying litter, nutrients, sediments, oil, etc. Improper dumping of chemicals and excessive use of fertilizer, salts, etc add to pollution along with failing septic systems
- Construction & Forestry – poor erosion and sediment control measures cause pollution
- Abandoned Mine Drainage – water that is in contact with underground mine workings can often become acidic and have high metal concentration
Residents should be aware of conservation efforts in their community and become involved in order to protect their water resources. If anyone would like to take a more active role in watershed issues around the home or in the community they can contact the Lackawanna County Conservation District at (570) 382-3086.
Active Watershed and Community Associations in Lackawanna County include
- NEPA Chapter of Trout Unlimited
- South Branch Tunkhannock Creek Watershed Coalition
- Newton Lake Watershed Association
- Moosic Lake Association
- Lackawanna River Corridor Association
- North Pocono CARE
- Lackawanna Advocates for Nutrition and Activity
- Lackawanna Valley Conservancy
- Countryside Conservancy
Department of Environmental ProtectionGrowing Greener Program
Department of Conservation of Natural Resources Community Conservation Partnership Program
Chesapeake Bay Program Small Watershed Grants
Coldwater Heritage Partnership – Coldwater Conservation Plan Grant
FREE Environmental Educational Programs Available!
The district can provide free environmental education programs at your school or organization and at community events. Please contact Cheryl Nolan at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (570) 382-3086 for more information.