The term watershed refers to the region or area of land that all drains into the same river or stream. Howard County’s watershed planning and management includes all of the activities related to preserving, protecting and restoring the streams, wetlands, forests and other natural resources within the community and is the framework for much of our environmental projects. Howard County lies within the watersheds of two major tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay, the Patuxent and Patapsco Rivers.
Rivers and Watersheds
The Major Watersheds Map shows the nine major watersheds in the County – find out which watershed you live in and then discover ways to help protect our waterways below.
The Stormwater Management Division within the Howard County Department of Public Works, Bureau of Environmental Services, conducts biological water quality monitoring and stream corridor assessment surveys. Comprehensive watershed assessment have been done within the Middle Patuxent River and the Little Patuxent River watersheds. The watershed assessment was performed to create an inventory of the natural resources as well as existing problems (erosion, trash, lack of wooded stream buffers, etc.) within these watersheds. Another result of the assessment is a list of potential projects that can be done to protect and restore these resources, address the problems, and ultimately improve water quality in our County streams and water bodies.
To find out more about watershed assessments, the Countywide Implementation Strategy, the Downtown Ellicott City Flood Study, county permits and more, visit the Stormwater Management Division webpage.
Find ways to volunteer your time helping our waterways:
Howard County Conservancy
The Friends of Patapsco Valley Heritage Green Way
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay Citizen Monitoring Program
Apply for a grant to help your community protect water resources:
Chesapeake Bay Trust