The Prettyboy is relatively fortunate - as a rural watershed we do not have the population density that leads to many of the problems encountered by more urban watersheds. However, the Gunpowder River and its tributaries no longer resemble those found by William Hoffman in 1775. He required extraordinarly clean water to make the paper for our nations first currency and searched throughout Southern Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland for a suitable river. The Gunpowder was the one river that met his high standards. Since 1775 - as would be expected - our increased population has had its resultant toll on our rivers and streams.
While we will never see the streams of 1775 again there are five steps we can all take that will reverse destructive trends or at least stablilize what we now have.
Our "High Five"
- the number of streamsides planted with trees/shrubs.
- the total number of trees.
- the number of invasive plants.
- the amount of impervious surface - these are "hard" surfaces - roads, roofs, parking lots.
- excess nutrients (specifically nitrogen and phosphorus). Sounds like fertilizer doesn't it?