Layout - Left Frame
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What Is A Watershed?

Everyone lives, works and plays in a watershed. A watershed is an area of land that drains runoff to a particular creek, lake, or larger waterway. Watersheds drain water from the highest to lowest point. In the first diagram below, the land within the white line is the watershed that drains in the direction of the arrows into the larger creek. The larger creek then flows into a river or ocean.

 Photo: The Center for Watershed Protection


Wilmington Watersheds

Click on the Wilmington Watersheds Map below to see which watershed you live in and to determine the destination of runoff leaving your property. All watersheds in the city limits eventually drain into the Cape Fear River or the Intracoastal Waterway/Atlantic Ocean. Check out the following examples:

  • If you live in the Hewletts Creek Watershed, runoff from your property will drain into Hewletts Creek, then eventually into the Intracoastal Waterway, and ultimately the ocean.
  • If you live in the Burnt Mill Creek Watershed, runoff from your property will drain into Burnt Mill Creek, then eventually into the Cape Fear River, and ultimately the ocean.

(click map to view larger)


Learn More!

What is a Watershed? (article)

Watershed Handout

 Wilmington Watersheds Map
To find the watershed you live in,
click map & zoom!


NC River Basins
According to maps redeveloped by the NC Division of Water Quality in 2010, portions of Wilmington watersheds are now located in the Cape Fear River Basin 
and the White Oak River Basin.
For instance, Howe, Bradley, Hewletts, and Whiskey Creek Watersheds are now considered to be in the White Oak River Basin.  These watersheds drain into the Intracoastal Waterway
(click map below)

Layout - Right Frame
Layout - Footer Top Left Corner Layout - Footer Top Right Corner
Terms of Use  Privacy  ADA Policy  ©2002-2016 City of Wilmington 
102 North Third Street - Post Office Box 1810
Wilmington, North Carolina 28402-1810
Questions, Comments? Email Us!