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November 20, 2013

Protecting the Grand River environment is important

Water is probably the most valuable resource on the planet, which is why it is so important to protect and preserve watersheds around the world. To be able to protect these places, it is important to understand where and what they are.

Watersheds play an important role because it is the area of land that water flows through to get to a common body of water. Watersheds collect rain, snow and other participation; they are also made up of different creeks, streams and rivers.

This article discusses the importance of the Grand River Watershed in Ohio. There are actually three Grand River Watersheds in eastern North America. Although all are unique separate regions, they are all part of the bigger Great Lakes Watershed, which contains one-fifth of the world’s natural resources.

The first Grand River Watershed is located in Michigan and is a tributary to Lake Michigan. The second is located in Ontario Canada and feeds into Lake Erie. Last but not least, is the Grand River Watershed, in Ohio, which also feeds into Lake Erie.
Ohio is the smallest of the three, as the Grand River drains through 712 acres; however, despite its size, it plays an important role in the environment. According to the United States Geological Survey, the Grand River is the most biologically diverse river of its size within the Lake Erie Basin. The area is well known for its diverse wildlife, including animals, birds and aquatic life within the river.

There are two regions within the watershed, which are called the upper and lower Grand River. The upper section of the Grand River starts in Trumbull County and then flows through Ashtabula County.

The upper Grand River is also part of the State Wildlife Area, which is a popular recreational area for hunting, hiking, camping and bird watching. 425 species of birds have been sighted within the wildlife area, which is example of how diverse the area is.

After flowing out of Ashtabula County, the river enters the lower portion of the watershed and flows through Lake County, before emptying into Lake Erie.

The Upper portion of the river is designated scenic and is a more popular recreational area; at the same time, the lower portion is designated wild as the river flows through ragged gorges and deep valleys.

Because of the importance of the watershed and its diversity, many groups are working on preserving the area. Many groups in Ohio, including the Land Conservancy, are working together to create a Watershed Action Plan, which will highlight the future needs and demands of the watershed.

Posted by Mark Contorno

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