|Monongahela River Watershed||Sewickley Creek Watershedwww.sewickleycreek.com|
|Youghiogheny River Watershed||Jacobs Creek Watershed http://www.jacobscreekwatershed.org/|
|Turtle Creek Watershed http://www.turtlecreekwatershed.org/home.html
||Loyalhanna Creek Watershed www.loyalhannawatershed.org|
|Pucketa/Allegheny Watershed||Conemaugh River Watershed|
|Kiskiminetas River Watershed||Indian Creek Watershedwww.mtwatershed.com|
What is a watershed?
Just as there are a number of towns, cities, and boroughs in Westmoreland County, there also are a number of different watersheds. The boundaries of towns and cities and boroughs are somewhat arbitrary, and the dividing lines are drawn by people. The boundaries of watersheds, on the other hand, are determined by nature; more specifically, by the way water flows across the land.
When rain hits the surface of the ground, the slope and shape of the terrain cause the rain to flow in a certain direction. All of the flowing water that ends up in the same place — for instance, in a certain creek or river — is considered to be in the same watershed. All the land that this water flowed over also is considered to be in that same watershed.
So if rain falls on the ground at a given point in Westmoreland County, and the slope and shape of the land cause it to flow into Sewickley Creek, then the rainwater and the land it flowed over would be in the Sewickley Creek Watershed.
Of course, the water wouldn’t stop flowing once it joined Sewickley Creek. It would continue to travel, first into the Youghiogheny River, then into the Monongahela River, and then into the Ohio River, and so on…. So the water (and the land it flowed over) could also be considered to be part of each of these larger watersheds.
There is a watershed association in every major watershed in Westmoreland County. Each association undertakes specific projects to enhance the quality of its local area — by reducing pollution, protecting open space, promoting good stewardship of woodlands, and so on.
Some of these associations have been in existance for decades, while others are just getting their feet wet. All of them depend on members and concerned citizens who care about conservation and the quality of the local environment, and are willing to get involved in helping to enhance, conserve, and preserve our natural resources.
Some of the major watershed associations and their websites are here and shown on the map below.
- Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Inc. www.loyalhannawatershed.org
- Mountain Watershed Association www.mtwatershed.com
- Sewickley Creek Watershed Association www.sewickleycreek.com
- Turtle Creek Watershed Association //www.turtlecreekwatershed.org/home.html
- Pucketa and Chartiers Watershed Association
- Jacobs Creek Watershed Association http://www.jacobscreekwatershed.org/
- Kiskiminetas Watershed Association
How the Westmoreland Conservation District helps
We have a full-time watershed program manager, Rob Cronauer, and a full-time watershed specialist, Chelsea Walker. Rob and Chelsea work every day with the watershed associations in Westmoreland County to help them identify important projects, such as stabilizing streambanks, cleaning up pollution from abandoned coal mines, and installing practices to reduce stormwater runoff and control erosion. Read about some of these projects in our Best Management Practices’ Portfolio.
Rob assists the watershed associations in actually getting these projects on the ground by helping them create partnerships with governmental organizations, conservation associations, and private companies; providing technical assistance; and suggesting sources of funding.
Chelsea Walker, Watershed Specialist
Provides support to the Watershed Program Manager. Chelsea also provides technical assistance to help develop and sustain watershed organizations and improve the quality and quantity of our water resources. Provides support for the implementation of the Dirt, Gravel and Low-Volume Road Maintenance Program.
How you can help
Become a member of your watershed association today. Contact Rob for assistance.