What is a Watershed?

Sparkill Creek Watershed

In its simplest terms, a watershed is a landform that starts high on a ridge or mountain and descends to lowlands into streams. It carries rainwater run-off — often contaminated with chemicals, trash, and other materials — into storm drains or directly into our creeks, streams and rivers. This has a disastrous impact on everything from plants and wildlife to our sources of drinking water.

According to the EPA, the leading source of pollution in surface drinking water supplies is polluted rainwater runoff. Many pollutants are found in legal, commonly-used household products – cleaning chemicals for our homes, oil and gasoline for our vehicles, pesticides and fertilizers for our lawns, and pharmaceuticals for ourselves.

Our Sparkill Creek watershed begins on Clausland Mountain and, after a trip through seven hamlets and villages and even across state lines into New Jersey, it circles back to terminate in the Piermont Marsh. We refer to our watershed as being from the “Mountain to the Marsh.” 

Check our Watershed report card and you will understand how important it is to Join Us at the Sparkill Creek Watershed Alliance. 

Our Watershed Report

Our watershed sampling can be found at RiverKeeper.org. Click here for more reports and resources

 

Sparkill Creek Scrapbook

Creatures of Our Creek

Sparkill Creek provides habitats for a variety of freshwater fishes, common snapping turtle, northern water snake and diamondback terrapin. Bird species include pied-billed grebe, least bittern, green-backed heron, mallard, American black duck, gadwall, wood duck, marsh wren, American woodcock, red-winged blackbird, and swamp sparrow are among the wonderful variety of creatures in and around our creek and watershed.