A watershed is an area of land that drains into a common body of water such as a stream, lake, or wetland. Everyone in the world lives in a watershed. What we do on the land has a direct effect on the quality of our waterways. Here are some ways to improve the safety of our waterways:
Reduce Storm Water Pollution
In Hamilton County, multiple waterways feed into the Ohio River, including the Great Miami River, Whitewater River, Mill Creek, and Little Miami River. Protecting all waterways within the County is important to the overall health of the region.
The biggest threat to healthy waterways is storm water runoff. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, storm water runoff is created when rain or melting snow flows over land or solid surfaces (like paved streets, parking lots, and rooftops) and does not soak into the ground. The runoff can collect garbage, chemicals, or other pollutants that could harm the quality of the water supply if left untreated.
Visit the Regional Storm Water Collaborative of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky website to learn simple steps that can be taken to clean up our water.
The Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities (MCWCC) works to protect and improve the health of the Mill Creek Watershed. Council efforts focus on watershed action planning, project implementation, developing opportunities to explore the watershed, research and monitoring. Visit the MCWCC website for additional information.
The Urban Streams Program of the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) works to improve the water quality in Hamilton County and Southwest Ohio through involvement in water quality initiatives, technical support to landowners, public education and outreach. For a list of services offered and activities to protect water quality, visit the Hamilton County SWCD website.
Rivers Unlimited works to restore, maintain, and improve Ohio's rivers and streams, their water quality, scenic beauty, their multiple economic uses, and their effect upon Ohio's quality of life. To learn more about Rivers Unlimited visit their website.
The Little Miami Conservancy is dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Little Miami Wild & Scenic River. Learn more about the Little Miami Conservancy by visiting their website.
The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWD) is looking for volunteers of all types, Boy or Girl Scouts, community groups, school groups, or individuals to participate in storm drain labeling events. Visit the HCSWCD website for additional information.
The Mill Creek Watershed Council of Communities (MCWCC) hosts stream clean up events each year to improve the quality of the Mill Creek. Click here to find out how to get involved.
You can help keep Hamilton County waterways clean and clear by reporting and preventing possible sources of storm water pollution. Call the Hamilton County Storm Water Hotline at (513) 946-7000 if you see any of the following occuring in your neighborhood:
Dumping in storm drains
Dumping in streams, rivers or other waterways
Excessive soil erosion or runoff around development, construction sites or agriculture fields.