What Is A Watershed?

We restore, educate and advocate for the Gills Creek Watershed.

What is a watershed? A watershed is a "precipitation collector" --an area of land that drains all the rainfall and small streams into a common outlet such as the point where a river joins a bay, or a creek joins a river. Watersheds can be small, like the Gills Creek Watershed, or huge--think of the area of our country that ultimately drains into the Gulf of Mexico through the Mississippi River. No matter where you live, you're in a watershed. The City of Columbia tracks information about the Broad, Congaree, Lower Saluda and Gills Creek--all major watersheds within City limits. For details about Gills Creek, click here

 

Facts about the Gills Creek Watershed:

  • The headwaters start above Sesquicentennial State Park and flow into the Congaree River below Columbia and just above the Congaree National Park.
  • It is represented by multiple jurisdictions including the City of Columbia, Richland County, Forest Acres, Arcadia Lakes, Fort Jackson, and the City of Cayce, which annexed the former "Green Diamond" property.
  • It contains over 115 miles of streams.
  • It covers over 47,000 acres of land.
  • The population is approximately 140,000.
  • Land use/land cover in the watershed includes approximately: 51.0% urban land, 25.1% forested land, 13.4% agricultural land, 8.1% forested wetland (swamp), 2.1% water, and 0.3% nonforested wetland (marsh).
  • It is among the largest urban impaired watersheds in South Carolina.
  • Urbanization and development have caused, and continue to cause, negative impacts to water quality, including excessive stormwater runoff and sedimentation.
  • We are all impacting the health of the watershed regardless of where we live within it.
  • Map of the Watershed
    Map of the Watershed
  • BB&T
    BB&T
  • Bottles
    Bottles
  • Abacus
    Abacus
  • Citta Del Cottone
    Citta Del Cottone
  • Mary and Scott Elliott
    Mary and Scott Elliott

    Thank you to our patrons!

  • Farm To Table
    Farm To Table
  • First Citizens Bank
    First Citizens Bank
  • Lizards Thicket
    Lizards Thicket
  • McCormick Taylor
    McCormick Taylor
  • Midwood Smokehouse BBQ
    Midwood Smokehouse BBQ
  • Mr. Firendly's
    Mr. Firendly's
  • Owen Real Estate
    Owen Real Estate
  • South State Bank
    South State Bank
  • Brennan Works

    Brennan Works Brennan Works

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