As a society, we use land in many different ways. The way we use land has a tremendous impact on how water flows over and through land as it makes it way to streams, rivers, and the Great Lakes. When rainwater falls on land, it gradually makes its way downhill. In developed areas, including both farms and urban areas, there is much less vegetation to slow the water down. As a result, the water moves quickly over the surface of the ground, picking up dirt and other materials and carrying it along with the flow of water. This process is known as “erosion.” The suspended material, called “sediment,” is carried through the watershed to the streams, rivers, and lakes. Success with this lesson will happen when students are able to explore the land use around sample Michigan sites, and use that information to analyze which sites have the highest average sediment levels and which have the lowest.