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Federal Creek Watershed Group

The Federal Creek Watershed Group is a collective of concerned watershed residents interested in addressing watershed issues. Among the group's activities are:

Watershed map creation
We have been helping to develop and acquire maps that will help us to understand our watershed. To understand your watershed, you must develop a sense of its location. Government boundaries rarely coincide with nature. This generally means that residents are not aware of their watershed boundary. We hope that seeing these maps will help people define the boundaries of their place from a natural perspective. Take a look at these maps to see where you live in the watershed:

The Hocking Basin
The Federal Creek Watershed with political boundaries
The Federal Creek Watershed and its sub-sheds
Trash clean-up
We have been helping the Flood Recovery Committee plan and supervise trash cleanup in the creek and in Amesville. The floods of 1997 and 1998 left a lot of trash in the creek and the floodplain. Please help us by not littering, disposing of water safely, and participating in trash clean-ups.

Special thanks to all the hard-working Ohio University volunteers, who made the hard part of the cleanup possible; Julie Stout and Craig Dickelman, who organized these events; and Cheri Sebring and the Amesville Grange for telling us about the volunteers and giving us a meeting place on cleanup day.
Raising landowner awareness
We have been planning workshops with landowners, trustees, and those who work in creeks to share information about stream-channel awareness. (Another way of describing a stream channel is to call it a riparian corridor.)

One of the most important parts of this effort is emphasizing the need for trees. Living vegetation, especially trees, are essential to stream health. Without trees on the stream bank, the stream will erode and fill the channel with sediment. The filled channel can't perform its natural functions. Establishment of a buffer of trees on both sides of the stream will reduce erosion and sedimentation. Those roots hold the soil in place, saving valuable real estate.

Altering the creek by moving it, dredging it, or building levees or dams can be very expensive. Many of these actions aren't necessary if the stream is allowed to be natural with a buffer of trees. This is a way to save our tax dollars.

Here are some of the benefits trees provide:
    • A tree can absorb up to 1,000 gallons of water a day, holding it so that the stream doesn't have to. This is a way to slow flooding.
    • Trees filter out many agricultural, household, and industrial products. Without such a filter, the stream is much more suceptible to contamination. In this way, trees slow and reduce pollution.
    • Trees keep water cool enough to support fish and other wildlife. If our creeks can't support wildlife, they ultimately can't support us. By planting and maintaining a tree buffer, we make streams more productive.
    • Because trees slow erosion, they also slow nutrient loss that occurs in agricultural fields due to erosion. If we can slow the loss of our watershed's most valuable commodity -- fertile topsoil -- perhaps there will be less need for expensive fertilizers. This keeps our streams clean and can help farmers save money.

If you're interested in learning more, contact your local watershed group, your county planner, the Soil and Water Conservation Office, and the local natural resource agency.
Assessment
We are beginning the ongoing process of trying to assess the health of our watershed. There have been many studies of various streams of the Federal done by the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey. These go back to the mid '70s to as recent as 1995. We are looking at these studies to get an idea of how our watershed has changed to help us plan for the future.

How you can help

  1. Tell us about any stream pollution or erosion problems that concern you.
  2. Ask about participating in stream monitoring programs.
  3. Help us find other ways.

Education
Educating watershed residents helps everyone make informed decisions about these issues. Here are some good sources of information:

If we don't understand watershed issues, we could harm the watershed without even realizing it. We hope that we can all work together to make our watershed healthy, productive, and beautiful. It is our goal to learn to use our wonderful watershed to meet our needs today, without hindering our children's children from also meeting their needs.

Please find out ways that you can help. Read the information provided here. Learn your watershed boundaries by looking at the maps. Share any information you may have. Join our group and participate! Contact Lisa King at (740) 448-2706.

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