The Ins and Outs of a Watershed

The Ins and Outs of a Watershed

A basin is a large area of land drained by a river and all its tributaries. Basins are made up of watersheds.  A watershed  is a land area whose elevation causes water to flow to a common waterway.  Here in Jefferson County, we have two main drainage basins:  the Black Warrior River Basin and the Cahaba River Basin which are formed by the Red Mountain Divide, a southern extension of the Appalachian Mountains and the Cumberland Plateau.  Within these two major basins are nine primary watersheds:  Black Warrior River, Cahaba River, Five Mile Creek, Gurley Creek, Little Cahaba River, Shades Creek, Turkey Creek, Valley Creek, and Village Creek.  The Cahaba River, at 194 miles long, is the longest free flowing river in Alabama.  The Black Warrior River, formed when the Locust Fork and Mulberry Fork converge, is 178 miles long. The Black Warrior and Cahaba Basins drain into the Mobile Basin which empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The takeaway from this is that everyone lives both upstream and downstream from someone else, and each of us has a direct impact on the quality of water in our rivers, lakes, creeks and streams.  We are fortunate to have local residents, watershed based advocacy groups, and statewide organizations which play an active role in protecting our waterways. Consider getting involved by joining a watershed group, becoming a certified water monitor, or organizing a roadside litter cleanup in your community.  Remember—you have the power to protect your watershed and its waterways through your everyday actions and choices!

What’s Happening

SepticSmart Week – September 18 – 23 – Is it time to service your septic tank?  Regular maintenance is important in protecting your family’s health and your investment.

Brown Bag Seminar Series – Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham.  This free seminar series continues through October.

All Bugs Good and Bad – Tune in to this free webinar series for information about identifying and managing pests around your home and yard.

Author: Lyn DiClemente

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