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  Watersheds and Wetlands

A watershed consists of all of the land which contributes water to a specific body of water. To outline watershed boundaries, connect the points of highest elevation around a body of water such as lake, stream or river on a topographic map. Water falling within this bowl flows by gravity, in streams and groundwater. Any substance within the watershed which can be transported by water eventually reaches the lowest point such as a lake and affects water quality. Protection efforts often focus on shoreline land use, perhaps mistakenly creating the impression that only activities along the shore influence water quality. In truth, land use anywhere within a watershed affects water quality.

Watershed: is the area to which all water, sediments and absorbed materials flow or drain from land into a common body of water such as a river or lake.

Wetlands: are defined as lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water. Wetlands usually have three components: 1) surface water or water in the root zone, 2) hydric soils or undrained soils, 3) vegetation adapted to thrive in wet conditions (hydrophytes).
   Oregon's wetlands provide a multitude of benefits for humans and the ecosystems in which we live, including:
• Habitat for a major portion of the state's fish and wildlife, including waterfowl and other migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway; salmon; and dozens of threatened and endangered species.
• Flood control and protection against storm damage.
• Water quality improvements through absorption and filtration of sediments, nutrients, metals and toxic materials.
• Opportunities for public recreation, education and research.
• Open space and scenic values.
   For more information about wetlands visit the Oregon Habitat Joint Venture at Another website is the Department of State Lands Wetlands Program at



Blue Green Thumb Watershed Education Program -
A program of the Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
Copyright © 2003-2010 Preservation Association of Devils Lake (PADL)
All rights reserved.

P.O. Box 36
Lincoln City, OR 97367