Today, World Wetlands Day really hits me.
Even though wetlands purify our drinking water and retain water, making land more resistant to drought and flooding, and are among the most species-rich types of habitats (comparable to rainforests and coral reefs), it is one of the ecosystems that has been the most destroyed, damaged, or eliminated around the world.
People have been draining wetlands in favour of farmland and other human uses for decades, and the earth’s biodiversity has suffered as a result. There has been a huge increase of floods, droughts and water shortages due to the losses of these hydrological moderators.
In Ontario, Canada, 75 wetlands are presently threatened by Premier Doug Ford’s plans to build highway 413 through the Holland Marsh and Nashville Conservation Reserve. This is on top of the fact that in settled areas of Canada, up to 70% of our wetlands have already been destroyed or degraded ( https://www.ducks.ca/explore/ ). Ford's plan is the complete opposite to the kind of things that we should be doing at this time in the face of climate change and biodiversity loss. Please visit https://secure.gpo.ca/stop-highway-413 to sign the petition to stop highway 413.
Here are some of the roles that wetlands play:
Our wetlands act like huge sponges 🧽. They store water from snow and rainfall, preventing flooding, and release it when things dry up, preventing drought.
Wetlands filter sediments and toxins out of our lakes, rivers and streams, purifying the water before it feeds into the aquifers that we access for our drinking water! 💦
Wetlands also provide crucial habitats for a huge diversity of species. A great variety of our wildlife depend on wetlands for protection and safe places to eat, sleep and raise young. Without marshes, ponds, bogs and swamps many species would disappear. 🐟🦆
Check out these conservation organizations and initiatives working to save and restore wetlands:
World Wetland Day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the International Convention on Wetlands in Ramsar, Iran, which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.✍️