The Elk Creeks Watershed Association
is an all-volunteer non-profit
educational and public outreach organization committed to preserving, restoring and protecting the quality
and beauty of the natural resources of
the Big and Little Elk Creeks
in southeastern Pennsylvania and northeastern Maryland.
A watershed is the land area that drains to a common body of water, such as a stream, lake, bay, or even the ocean. All land, no matter how large or small the parcel, is part of at least one watershed. Watersheds provide drinking water, habitats for wildlife, soil to grow our food, and locations for fishing, boating and swimming.
We all live in a watershed. Our everyday activities can affect downstream waters. Rain that does not soak into the ground becomes runoff and carries soil, pollutants, and other materials from the land into our rivers, lakes and bays.
Unhealthy watersheds affect both humans and wildlife. Water supplies that become polluted can become harmful. Aquatic life quickly suffers the effects of watershed pollution, and introduced pollutants alter ecosystems and wildlife habitats. This reduces biodiversity by eliminating some species and introducing new, invasive ones that destroy the native species. That, in turn, can affect the food chain, from microbial organisms that feed birds and animals to fish that feed humans.
Fish survival depends on healthy well-functioning watersheds. Individuals must survive to maintain the population, and populations must survive to maintain the species. Fish habitat needs to include adequate levels of oxygen in the water, food, places to hide, overwinter, spawn and routes for safe migration. Different species, and different life stages within each species have different habitat needs which may change with the different seasons.
Preserved open spaces within watersheds are used by millions of people for hiking, birding, plant and wildlife identification, fishing and hunting, horseback riding, trail biking, forest bathing, and more.
Elk Creeks Watershed Association has supported watershed stewardship, riparian buffer restoration, educational outreach and programming in the Oxford Area and Avon Grove School Districts, Lincoln University and throughout our watershed community. We look forward to working with our old and new partnerships to continue the watershed education legacy!
P.O. Box 111, Oxford, PA 19363