Allison Sheflo

Photo courtesy of Kam Coon – Sunrise on American Lake (within Clover Creek Watershed)

Dear residents of (and visitors to) the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed,

It’s easy to look at elements of this watershed and think that it’s not healthy. Looking at Clover Creek, especially at times when the flow is low, and seeing the litter around it and the debris left around, it certainly doesn’t look like the ideal, healthy stream, and reading about algae blooms in the lakes in the watershed, urbanization, and the complicated groundwater system makes it easy to see a troubled watershed. However, when investigated closely, the watershed isn’t actually that unhealthy. Certainly, these are all issues faced by the watershed, but the water itself is relatively healthy. The chemistry of the water is, generally, pretty good, including pH, phosphate, nitrates/nitrites, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen, and areas of Clover Creek that we investigated in our class had a variety of small organisms that can be used as indicators of water health which were able to survive. The watershed isn’t perfect, and there’s issues that need to continue to be addressed, but it’s better than it can seem, and not something to be entirely pessimistic about.

Best,

Allison Sheflo

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