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The Deep Creek Watershed

It's about clean water and how we manage it -- we need it for our health, recreation, and industry. We all want it, yet we all affect its quality. To maintain adequate water quality, we must look at all activities that take place in the area and make sure that their environmental impact are controllable,

To maintain adequate water quality, we must look at all activities that take place in the area and make sure that their environmental impacts on nearby waterways are minimal, or at least controllable. Watershed management is simply a systems approach to environmental protection.

No matter where you live, you live in a watershed! A watershed is an area of land that is drained by a distinct stream, creek or river system into another stream or lake and is usually separated from other watersheds by the crest of hills or mountains. Also called a “catchment” or “drainage basin” a watershed can be large or small. Larger watersheds are made up of any number of smaller watersheds, which are then called sub-watersheds or sub-basins. As rainwater and melting snow run downhill, they carry sediment and other materials into our streams, lakes, wetlands, and groundwater. A watershed is the area of land that catches all precipitation (such as rain and snow) and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater.

The Deep Creek Watershed is a relatively small watershed, covering an area of 64.7 square miles, and is a sub-watershed of the Youghiogheny watershed. To see the latter and how it relates to Deep Creek Lake click on the Deep Creek Lake watershed image on the right hand side. You see the shape of the Deep Creek Watershed making up a very small portion of the Youghiogheny Watershed

In a well-functioning watershed, vegetation and wetlands intercept falling rain (and snow), slow the flow of that water as it moves through the stream system, remove pollutants, and allow the water to percolate into the ground to recharge groundwater and drain eventually in the lake. This creates clean water and natural stream filtration for fish and wildlife and recreational opportunities for its residents and visitors.

Watersheds themselves consist of all surface water and include lakes, streams, reservoirs and wetlands, as well as all groundwater and aquifers.

People live in watersheds and, and, as part of being a human being, we disturb our environment by the very actions that we believe to be important for our personal well-being. Any activity that changes soil permeability, vegetation type or cover, water quality, quantity, or rate of flow at a location can change the characteristics of an adjacent stream, creek or lake.

This website is dedicated to being a repository of scientific information and writings that attempt to full-fill the wishes of the Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan.

The comment box on the right can be used to give me your thoughts on this website. Your comments will be taken seriously and incorporated if appropriate.


  1. Most of the reports can be found on the document archives of the Deep Creek Watershed Management Plan work.