Our Watersheds

A watershed is a basin-like landform defined by highpoints and ridgelines that descend into lower elevations and stream valleys. A watershed carries water “shed” from the land after rain falls and snow melts. Drop by drop, water is channeled into soils, groundwaters, creeks, and streams, making its way to larger rivers and eventually the sea. Water is a universal solvent, affected by all that it comes in contact with: the land it traverses, and the soils through which it travels. The important thing about watersheds is: what we do on the land affects water quality for all communities living downstream.


Cranberry growers, an important part of our local economy, use water for bog irrigation and flooding during harvest.

Fish And Wildlife

North American river otter, American mink, Red fox & White-tailed deer, Red-tailed hawk & Little blue heron, River herring, eel, Red fin pickerel & pond fish. For example, when River Herring leave the ocean, they depend on the Mattapoisett River to get to their spawning ground up in Rochester’s Snipatuit Pond.


Adopt-Your-WatershedTop ten watershed tips:

  1. Conserve water every day. Take shorter showers, fix leaks and turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  2. Don’t pour toxic household chemicals down the drain. Take them to a local hazardous waste collection center instead.
  3. Use hardy plants that require little or no watering, fertilizers or pesticides in your yard.
  4. Do not over apply fertilizers. Consider using organic or slow release fertilizers.
  5. Recycle yard waste in a compost pile and use a mulching mower to leave grass clippings on the lawn.
  6. Use surfaces like wood, brick or gravel for decks, patios and walkways. They allow rain to soak in and not run off.
  7. Never pour used oil or antifreeze into the storm drain or the street.
  8. Pick up after your dog, and dispose of the waste in the toilet or the trash.
  9. Drive less—walk or bike instead. Many pollutants in our waters come from car exhaust and car leaks.
  10. Adopt your watershed! Learn more at

Download EPA brochure:
Adopt your watershed.
Volunteer to help protect your local stream, river, lake, beach or wetland.