As you can see from our short tour, a watershed is about much more than just a river or lake. To know a watershed you must become familiar with all the components of the system that contribute to the ecology of a water resource, from the headwaters to the receiving waters, and all the land in between.
Many communities in Ohio are recognizing the importance of considering the entire system in their attempts to improve water quality. This whole-system approach is called watershed management, and it requires a great deal of information from a variety of sources to be effective.
Some communities have developed a watershed management plan to address water resources problems specific to their location. A comprehensive plan can serve to guide agencies and other organizations in their efforts to improve and protect the local water resource.
Volunteers play a key role in many watershed management programs where they are called on to gather critical data about local water resources.
The most successful programs encourage participation from all interested sectors of the community in the planning and implementation of the watershed management plan.
These watershed management plans include information about stream, lake, and river biology and hydrology, as well as details about current and planned human activities that have the potential to affect water quality, including development, agriculture, and recreation.
Continue exploring Ohio Watersheds Online by contacting your County Extension Office for ideas on how you can get involved in watershed management in your community. We hope you have enjoyed this Watershed Tour.
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