Great Swamp Watershed: The Future
Since about 1960, development has proceeded in the watershed at an accelerating rate.
Before that time, rain falling in the watershed was filtered slowly through the earth, replenishing underground reservoirs and gently nourishing streams. Today, in highly developed areas, rain runs off roofs and lawns, across roads and driveways and through pipes into Great Swamp streams. This increased runoff causes upstream erosion and downstream flooding. It also dumps fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and hydrocarbons into the swamp’s waterways. And it depletes underground supplies of drinking water.
Changes like these, if permitted to increase, will reduce the diversity of wetlands wildlife by altering animal habitats and interfering with reproduction of sensitive species. Great Swamp’s ability to alleviate downstream flooding and purify water may also be degraded seriously.
The solution to these problems lies largely in regional planning. The Great Swamp Watershed Association is a regional planning organization.