Why a Gunpowder Watershed Clearinghouse on the internet?

      Welcome to the Gunpowder Watershed Clearinghouse! Concerned about drinking water?  Interested in conserving natural resources while preserving the environment?  Want to make a difference in your community?  Then get to know the Gunpowder Watershed.  The Gunpowder Watershed Clearinghouse is designed to help you do just that.

        The Gunpowder Watershed Clearinghouse is supported by the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC), Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), and Towson University.  It is hoped that this endeavor will satisfy the needs of Gunpowder Watershed stakeholders and other interested parties. Having the information organized by watersheds parallels progressive governmental efforts to address environmental threats for protection and preservation.  In addition, it begins to divest our jurisdictional thinking towards the natural system.

         Information is only useful if it is accessible.  By making vital information about the Gunpowder river basin accessible, the Gunpowder Watershed Clearinghouse serves as a model for utilizing internet and geographic information systems (GIS) technology to encourage informed public participation in watershed management.  Information included within this site includes land use and land cover data, census data, satellite images, updates on ongoing projects in the Gunpowder, and contact data for individuals and organizations that have detailed information on particular subjects.  Data is displayed in the form of interactive maps, pictures, links, and text.

        The term "Clearinghouse" is applied, rather than "website," in order to reinforce the fact that this site is not meant to simply be a data bank, but is instead intended to perform a service for the Gunpowder community by fostering cross-watershed communication.  In addition, helping the community to stay aware of resources and activities in the Gunpowder Watershed results in many dividends.  Dividends of data sharing include greater cooperation between groups working towards a common cause, and less replication of activities, both of which lead to more efficient use of governmental and non-governmental resources.  Finally, it is hoped that the Gunpowder Watershed Clearinghouse will foster a greater appreciation for this fairly unique, historically significant, tremendously diverse, and indispensable resource.

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