Napa Watershed issues and ways we can help

What is a watershed?

A watershed is an area in which water is collected in a body of water and carried to a bigger body of water such as an ocean. There is one for every area, and usually, consist of separate mountain ranges.

The Napa Valley Watershed

Map of the Napa Valley Watershed

Our local watershed mainly consists of the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges, the Napa River, the San Pablo Bay, and the Pacific Ocean.The water from rain and snow either seeps into the ground, stays on top of the ground, or flows into streams and creeks into the Napa River or the aquifer underground. Then the water flows out to the San Pablo Bay which is connected to the Pacific Ocean. The Napa River Watershed is the home to many important native plants and animals that we need to keep healthy.

What are  some of the issues?

Most of the issues of our watershed start with humans and their actions. Some issues are toxic pollution, improper roads, and use of harmful herbicides and pesticides. Toxic pollution is caused by many things. Like trash and oil on the ground which gets into storm drains and from poisonous herbicide, pesticides, and chemicals that get picked up from the water runoff.  Roads are a big part of the issue because they block water from reaching the ground, they carry harmful chemicals and substances that water runoff could carry and the increase sediment delivery which can create flashy streams.

How can we Help?
We can help by being aware of our surroundings and finding greener ways of living. For example, we can use non-toxic organic herbicides and pesticides that aren't bad for the environment. We could also reduce trash waste and focus on keeping it off the ground so that it won't affect water runoff.

Road construction also impacts our local watershed. Building roads in environmentally friendly areas with less erosion is a way to storm proof them. They are easier to maintain and keep stormwater runoff cleaner.

How  To  Protect  Aquatic  Life

  •   Be sure that you always properly dispose of your trash. It could end up in storm drains and flow into the river. Where fish could eventually eat it and get sick
  • Keep organic waste away from creeks or rivers because they could cut off oxygen flow in the water
  • Plant and preserve our native plants because they are an important part of our ecosystems