What is a watershed, anyway?
Watersheds are directly related to water and water quality on Prince Edward Island. As Islanders rely solely on groundwater for their drinking water supply, the health of our watersheds is of the utmost importance. However, the health of a watershed does not only impact humans; wildlife rely on them for their water and habitat. Birds, mammals, fish and insects depend on their environment for survival. The more we can do to improve our watershed ecosystems, the more ALL life will benefit.
How do we impact out watersheds?
Anything we do to the land will affect our water and watersheds, either by how it flows or what flows into it. With the construction of new homes and businesses comes the removal of vegetation; vegetation helps slow the movement of water on the land. When plant life is replaced by asphalt or driveways, water can move faster within a watershed, often taking silt or pollutants along with it. Chemicals, such as pesticides or fertilizers, seriously negatively impact fish and wildlife, often leading to too little oxygen or too many nutrients in the water.
Nonexistent or too-small buffer zones are also a factor in water contamination or sedimentation. And don’t forget about how litter impacts our environment!
There are many ways in which we affect our watersheds, and we must work towards minimizing our impact on our most important natural resource.