A watershed is an area of land that drains water, sediments and dissolved materials to a common receiving body of water, usually a river or estuary. This means that no matter where you live, you and your home are part of a watershed. Florida’s extensive canal system began in 1916 with the implementation of special taxing districts (today’s water control and mosquito control districts) that altered natural watershed to drain land that previously had been covered by water for 6 months or more per year. In the lagoon region, completion of the extensive canal system in the region increased the size of the IRL Watershed by 146%. Canals allowed water to be drained off the land, putting it into production for agriculture, ranching and development. In the counties bordering the lagoon, canal systems drain, mostly unfiltered directly to the lagoon or one of its tributaries, vastly increasing the amounts of freshwater, sediments, and nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) discharged to the Lagoon. Today, nearly every neighborhood has a canal system that drains directly to the lagoon, funneling stormwater runoff and a myriad of potential pollutants with it. The excessive nutrients carried in runoff and baseflow from tributaries directly impacts water quality in the lagoon.