The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Protecting Watersheds Leads to Economic Growth

Posted by Wells Reserve Contributor | June 21, 2012

Have you ever wondered what watershed conservation is all about?  Do you often consider where the water in your local river travels, and how its care affects your community and others down the river?  Here at the Wells Reserve we work with watershed conservation on a day-to-day basis.  Watersheds are areas of land which share a common feature—all water that flows above or underground drains to the same place.  The Saco River watershed connects diverse areas such as North Conway, NH, and Biddeford, ME.  The lives of the people who live within these areas are affected by the health—conservation—of their watershed.

A glimpse of the marshes here at the Wells Reserve.

There are many ongoing projects concerning watersheds in the Wells area, such as the Saco River Watershed, the Merriland River, Branch Brook, and Little River Watershed, and the Salmon Falls Watershed, among others!  I am working with the Coastal Training Program this summer to connect conservation and economic development.  My role is to communicate with researchers, local interest groups, government officials, and interested individuals about how balancing conservation and development benefits the economy.

The benefits that nature provides to society are important to take into account when considering the health of a river and the surrounding area.  The health of watersheds is directly related to the health of all creatures that use the area, from birds and fish to people.  The benefits that can arise from protecting these areas are clear when it comes to economic growth, as identified in detail by a recent EPA publication, The Economic Benefits of Protecting Healthy Watersheds.

Four of these benefits are safe drinking water, flood protection, healthy areas for recreation, and biodiversity.  During the summer I’ll be sharing with you examples of these benefits, especially how the way that watersheds are managed affects the health of the communities they connect.

Estuary!

If you would like to learn more about watershed conservation, try out these links:

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