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