Ohio State University Extension https://ohiowatersheds.osu.edu

Ohio Watershed Network

Ohio State University Extension

Streamside Landowner Guides

Streamside Landowner Guides


These online guides were created as a result of interviews conducted with 24 streamside landowners in two urbanizing watersheds in central Ohio. The purpose of this research was to identify decisions streaside landowners make regarding stream health and what influences their decisions. This reported decision process was then compared with what experts believe to be the key influences on streaside landowner property management decisions. One of the key findings was that while streaside landowners had a clear understanding of what can damage streams in urban areas (e.g., sediment and bacteria), they were less clear as to why healthy streams were important and what they should look like. Another key finding of this study was that experts in water management and related fields (e.g., scientists, agency professionals) do not seem to be aware of the time and effort streamside landowners are expending to care for and maintain their properties.


The purpose of the site is to help streamside landowners understand how to better manage the property in and around a stream to achieve their goals (e.g., maintain neat and well drained property) and protect stream quality.


We divided the site into three guides based on type of landowner: suburban, rural residential and agricultural. Under each type we list a series of objectives that these particular streamside landowners stated as being important to them in our study (e.g., protecting human health). Under each of these objectives is a series of practices streamside landowners can take to achieve this objective and maintain and/or promote stream health.




  • Reduce erosion and flooding
  • Promote wildlife and recreation
  • Protect health of family and the environment

Rural Residential


  • Reduce maintenance time
  • Protect health of family and the environment



  • Financial security
  • Drainage management
  • Protect health of family and the environment

How do I recognize a healthy stream?

Protecting Your Stream

Who To Contact