Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Words About Watersheds

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Water, Watersheds, Pollution, Sustainability, Science & Society

Ed Hessler

The Center for Global Environmental Education (CGEE) has a long association with the Metro Watershed Partners (MWP). You may read about the Partners on the CGEE website.

Lake Tides, a Wisconsin publication, included an article by Scott Provost, Water Resources Specialist, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources entitled "Broaden Your View: Think Watershed Scale." It is in the Winter / Spring 2024, 49(1) publication. I liked what he had to say and how he said it. Some examples:

--"Understanding that our lake and river water quality starts on the land is the foundation to understanding water quality management. All the land that drains to a lake or river, the watershed, basically determines the 'DNA' of the lake. If the watershed is in good shape, the water should be too." 

Too much exposed soil and fertilizers drain off. So does stormwater. By now you know that this kind of drainage - nonpoint sources goes to our favorite waters, streams, rivers, including the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Superior.

--Managing watersheds is not straightforward because much of the land is private. Provost makes another important observation. "It is also a little harder to see the connection. It's easier to look out at a lake or river and be captivated by its beauty while forgetting how it's all connected to the land."

Provost continues by describing some "win-win partnerships" in Wisconsin. For Provost the "win-win" is that "a source of pollution is controlled (in many cases permanently) and a partnership is created between an upstream private property owner and riparian owner."

The article includes a watershed map with a large arrow pointing to an area of water labeled Not Your Only Management Area. Another arrow points to the watershed boundary and is labeled Expand Your Management Area.

The issue is on-line and I hope I haven't quoted too much. It is a great read and you must see the illustration.

Near the end he writes "Join the watershed movement."
One way to do this is through CGEE's Adopt a Storm Drain program.
In 1979 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MnDNR) developed a standardized set of watersheds. There are 81 major and 5600 minor watersheds. Here is a map of the major ones. And here is additional information about them from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). And you can use Google (or other search engine) to find which watershed you live in. Just identify your location.

No comments:

Post a Comment