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Urban Watersheds

Urban Watersheds
Although they are not usually listed as ecosystems in their own right, urban environments and the surrounding wildland-urban interface (WUI) can have a profound impact on the ecosystems in which they are situated. Dense populations create unique situations with respect to watershed health, stemming from our need to secure adequate drinking water, waste disposal, and storm drainage. But they also provide some of the best opportunities to make an immediate difference.
Urban forestry, once limited mainly to parks and street trees, now looks at all the ways we can care for the natural resources in developed areas within our watersheds. Urban forests are becoming valued as essential parts of our communities’ green infrastructure. These green spaces can be managed to improve water quality, air quality, stormwater management, water harvesting, microclimates, and wildlife habitats. Forward-thinking civic leaders are starting to use their WUI and urban forest to reconnect their towns and cities with the rest of the watershed in ways that benefit all.



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