What is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that water flows over or under on its way to a stream, river, lake or other body of water. All rainfall and snowmelt within a given watershed eventually makes its way to the same body of water.
Watershed Diagram Courtesy of US EPA

Everyone lives in a watershed and our actions influence water quality within our watersheds. In Mahoning County we have six major watersheds and each of them covers several thousand acres (one acre is approximately the size of a football field). Since a watershed is a natural land area and not a human made boundary a single city or township may affect several watersheds or a single watershed may include parts of several municipalities.

What does a Healthy Watershed mean for me?
Good water quality impacts your life! There are economic, social and cultural benefits to clean water.

Clean water means:
1.  Increased real estate values:
  • Properties that border or are located near high quality lakes, rivers, streams, and riparian corridors are usually assessed at higher values than similar properties that are not located near or adjacent to these areas.

2.  Recreational opportunities:

  • Canoeing, kayaking, boating, fishing
  • Bird watching and wildlife observation
  • Hiking and bicycling

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Kayaking on Mill Creek

3.  Enhanced economic development opportunities: 
  • More attractive to prospective employers and residents
  • Less money spent on treatment for drinking water
  • A better place to live and work
  • Attracts visitors from outside of the area to enjoy recreational amenities
  • Fosters a sense of civic pride

Everyone feels better living in a healthy environment, and our waterways and green space can create a focal point for community pride. The strength and value of our natural resources (air, soil, and water) can also enhance an area's image on a national basis and make it a place young people want to stay.