What is a watershed?

What is a watershed? – Graphic by Jim Taylor, MA Dept. of Conservation and RecreationA watershed is a geographic area of land in which all surface and ground water flows downhill to a common point, such as a river, stream, pond, lake, wetland, or estuary.

Water from falling rain and melting snow generally drains into ditches, streams, wetlands, lakes, and coastal waters, or seeps into the ground. As water moves over the land it picks up sediment and dissolved materials and transports them to lakes, rivers, ponds, streams and coastal bays. Vegetation, leaf litter, fallen logs, and the naturally uneven terrain of forests and other natural areas slow down and filter runoff. Water flowing over parking lots and other developed areas speeds up and can pick up a variety of pollutants on route to water bodies.

The Nashua River Watershed is where we live, work, and play.

Will you help us keep our watershed clean?