Watersheds

A watershed is the area of land where all of the water that falls in it and drains off it goes into the same place. Watersheds can be as small as a footprint or large enough to encompass all the land that drains water into rivers that drain into the Chesapeake Bay, where it enters the Atlantic Ocean. A watershed is an area of land that drains all the streams and rainfall to a common outlet such as the outflow of a reservoir, mouth of a bay, or any point along a stream channel. The word watershed is sometimes used interchangeably with drainage basin or catchment. Ridges and hills that separate two watersheds are called the drainage divide. The watershed consists of surface water-lakes, streams, reservoirs, and wetlands- and all the underlying groundwater. Larger watersheds contain many smaller watersheds. Watersheds are important because the streamflow and the water quality of a river are affected by things, human-induced or not, happening in the land area “above” the river-outflow point.


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Outline of the 6 major watershed basins in Pennsylvania. The larger basins are composed of many smaller watersheds. The map below shows Cameron County and the Sinnemahoning Creek Watershed. All but a very small percentage of Cameron County is located in the Susquehanna River watershed draining to the Chesapeake Bay, more specifically the Sinnemahoning Creek sub-watershed. This watershed consists of 3 major tributaries, the First Fork, Bennett’s Branch, and the Driftwood Branch. Cameron County is blessed with some of the best water in Pennsylvania and has hundreds of miles of clean, cold water that are teaming with wild trout and other coldwater species. We thrive to not only sustain our great water quality but to make it better.




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