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Earn Your Whale Badge

You don't have to live near the ocean to protect it. The first step in protecting the ocean is learning about the watershed in your own backyard! Over the next few lessons you'll learn the basics of a watershed - what it is, why it's important, and how to find yours. 

What is a watershed? 

A watershed is an area of land in which all water flows down into a common basin. The water collected in a watershed, called runoff, comes from rain or melting snow and soaks into the ground or flows downstream into rivers, lakes, and the ocean. No matter where you live, your home is located in a watershed. 

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Wait, what about the desert?

Yep! Everyone lives in a watershed. Even in deserts where it is extremely hot and dry, water is shed. Deserts typically receive ten inches or less of precipitation per year.

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We all live downstream from somewhere and we all rely on watersheds for drinking water, irrigation, and fun so we have to be careful to take care of our watershed. A watershed can be big or small, draining a few blocks in your city or crossing many states. Your own backyard is a part of a watershed! Watch this video to learn more about watersheds. 

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The Mississippi River Basin is the largest watershed in the United States. It drains across 31 states and stretches from Minnesota all the way to the Gulf of Mexico! 

DID YOU KNOW?

SCIENTIST NOTEBOOK

You're on your way to becoming a citizen scientist! Citizen Scientists are curious people who work with professional scientists to make a difference. Let's start collecting some of the new information we've learned in a notebook. In this scientist notebook we'll record words to know, observations from our activities, and collect data. In later lessons we'll add some of our data to an app for scientists to use in helping our planet!

Record these words and their definitions in your scientist notebook

WATERSHED

BASIN

PRECIPITATION

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YOU DID IT! 

You successfully completed level one by learning the basics of a watershed!  Don't forget to add your newly earned badge to your achievement chart before getting started on the next level. 

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KEEP GOING!

Now that you know what a watershed is and how to locate yours, let's dive a bit deeper and earn your next badge.

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