Aquatic Resources & Watersheds

A watershed is that area of land that drains into a common point in a waterway, as illustrated in the figure below.  A watershed can be as small as 1 square mile or as large as hundreds of square miles.  Human activities have significant, often unrecognized affects on a watershed.  Operations such as farming, urbanization and resource extraction have degraded the habitat and water quality of the majority of waterways in California.

To help address this situation, the Ecotoxicology Program works with state, local, and non-governmental partners to develop informational literature, tools, and technical resources to promote a better characterization and understanding of the link between land use and aquatic resources protection.

If you have comments on our work or suggestions for issues you think we should address, please contact: sends e-mail)


Image of a watershed showing tributaries flowing from mountainous regions to a single waterway within a valley