b'Why Should We Care About Watersheds?Water is the universal solvent.While dissolving essen-tial minerals, it makes them available to the microscop-ic life that forms the base of aquatic food chains.Water also dissolves and carries pollutants into the ground and into our freshwater ponds, estuaries, and off shore waters.These pollutants range from the nitrogen and phosphorus in our septic systems and fertilizers, to gasoline additives and fecal matter in our storm water runoff .You are part of the larger environment. Even if you dont live right on the water, your everyday activities impact the water bodies in your watershed as nutrients and pollutants travel through runoffand groundwater. As the groundwater beneath your property makes its journey to our coastlines, it carries along your contributions in the form of nutrients or hazardous compounds.Drawing by Kassie FossThere are many ways to contaminate water . . .Page 14 bluepages.indd 14 8/26/2009 1:49:34 PM'