A watershed is a basin-like landform defined by highpoints and ridgelines that descend into lower elevations and stream valleys. A watershed carries water “shed” from the land after rain falls and snow melts. Drop by drop, water is channeled into soils, groundwaters, creeks, and streams, making its way to larger rivers and eventually the sea. John Wesley Powell, a prominent 19th century geologist and explorer, put it best when he defined a watershed as “that area of land…within which all living things are inextricably linked by their common water course & where, as humans settled, simple logic demanded that they become part of a community.”
Chautauqua is located in the Eastern Divide or Eastern Continental Divide. This Eastern Divide separates the Gulf of Mexico drainage from the watersheds that flow directly into the Atlantic Ocean.