Our planet’s water sources are all connected. Springs that begin in mountains will find their way down and form streams that come together to form larger streams and rivers. Rivers flow and combine until they reach the oceans. Our actions upstream have cumulative effects on the water quality downstream. Learn more about water sources, our watershed, and how our waterways connect us all.
Learn about how upstream water sources have an effect on downstream:
- Journey of a Raindrop– A video reading this illustrated children’s book, which details a raindrops way through the Chesapeake Bay Watershed from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
- How Rivers and Streams are Connected– A short primer on rivers and streams from NatureWorks.
- How Upstream Activities Affect Downstream Sources – Learn about the the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 scientific report demonstrating the importance of small streams and wetlands to downstream water quality.
- How Pollution in Streams Affect the Oceans– A tutorial on non point source pollution from NOAA.
- Large Marine Ecosystems of the World– Check out this map of all the watersheds in the world.
Read articles from around the world that show effects of upstream water quality on downstream sources:
- Upstream water resource management to address downstream pollution concerns: A policy framework with application to the Nakdong River basin in South Korea– A research article on methods for managing water quality upstream to keep pollution levels low downstream.
- Upstream-downstream linkages of hydrological process in the Himalayan region– A literature review studying how management practices upstream affect downstream basins.
Take one of the actions below or come up with your own activity in celebration of World Oceans Day and share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to enter in our World Oceans Day Challenge!
- Draw Your Way to the Bay– Let this activity guide you in making a drawing of the path from your watershed to the Chesapeake Bay.
- Complete an art project inspired by watersheds and their relationships to each other and the ocean.
- Create a model watershed illustrating the downstream process using this tutorial from the Izaak Walton League or come up with your own idea for one using recycled materials.