Deer Creek
Watershed Characterization

Harford County is one of five counties participating in the 2005 WRAS program and has selected the Deer Creek Watershed (Basin number: 02120202) for protection and restoration. The Harford County Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan has identified the preservation and protection of the Countyís natural environment as a major goal, and has identified watershed planning as an important strategy to accomplish this goal. The Plan also cites protection and preservation of the Countyís agricultural heritage and continued viability of agriculture as an equally important goal. The Deer Creek watershed is the largest and most significant agricultural area of the County (Harford County Department of Planning and Zoning).

Deer Creek Watershed is prioritized in Marylandís Clean Water Action Plan (1998) as both a Category 1 watershed indicating that it is in need of restoration and as a Category 3 watershed indicating that it is a pristine or sensitive watershed in need of protection. Because the selection criteria used for Category 1 (Restoration) and Category 3 (Preservation) watersheds are not the same and because land use and related factors may vary considerably within such a large watershed, many of the State's watersheds are identified as both Category 1 and 3 watersheds. These watersheds show signs of stress or degradation but still contain pristine or sensitive natural resources. Deer Creek has the added distinction of being designated a "Select" Category 3 watershed, which indicates a more pristine or sensitive watershed in need of an extra level of protection.

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