Monday, December 25, 2006

Better Know a Watershed


The old man was out at a supermarket close to our house on Christmas eve morning and saw this animal skitter towards him as he was exiting the car. His first thought was, "Is that a cat?" It was moving fast, ducking under cars and had now veered to a row a bushes to the back of the parking lot. "Man," the old man wondered, "that is some kind of ugly cat!" It was, he discovered after taking a closer look before it jumped into the hedge, actually an otter. We had a good, head-scratching laugh about it when he got home and he surmised the otter was probably young, judging from its size. But where did it come from, I wondered. We talked about various streams and creeks that run through our part of town, and agreed that it must have been the creek that runs behind the supermarket where he was. Later that day, however, he checked the creek and discovered that there was no water in it.

This got me thinking about our water supply and the sources of water for other living things in our area. Above is a map of the Oklawaha watershed which our fair city is a part of. Here is the EPA fact sheet that this image came from. It has all sorts of important information about your water supply. Purdue University also has a cool site called Know Your Watershed which is jam packed with watershed info and a good place to start because they've got a lot of links, like the EPA's Surf Your Watershed and basic information like what the heck a watershed is in the first place (despite what one librarian believes, it is not a place to keep your lawnmower and rake).
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