What is a Watershed?

A watershed, also called a drainage basin, is an area of land from which all water drains to a common waterway such as a river, a lake, or the ocean. As rainwater and melting snow run downhill, they carry soil, pollutants, and other materials from the land into our waterways. Watersheds are named after the body of water they drain into.

A watershed includes everything in it - land and water, plants and animals, roads and buildings - even you!

Watersheds can be large or small. Some watersheds drain a few city blocks while others drain a large area. No matter where you are, you're standing in a watershed!