Published on Mon, 01/30/2012 by Nature Conservancy of Canada

Happy World Wetlands Day! Five fun and easy ways to celebrate

Visitors walk the trails at Minesing Wetlands (photo by NCC)

Did you know there are more wetlands in Canada than in any other country in the world? Canada is home to about one quarter of the world's wetlands, covering 14 percent of our country. February 2nd is World Wetlands Day, and if you're wondering why you should care, consider what wetlands do for us. They play a vital role in our day-to-day lives.

From providing ecological services such as flood control and water filtration, to food production
for wild rice and cranberries, wetlands are good for your health. Wetlands also create recreational opportunities such as fishing, wildlife viewing and canoeing. In honour of this oft-overlooked yet critical Canadian habitat, here are five simple ways to celebrate World Wetlands Day:

  1. Raise a glass!
    ...of water, that is, and preferably from the tap. Wetlands play a key role in removing sediments, excess nutrients and even bacteria from our drinking water. If you used water today to brush your teeth, cook with or to quench your thirst, thank a wetland!
  2. Visit a wetland
    Even in winter, wetlands show many signs of life. Look for tracks in the snow, which are evidence of small mammals nesting in the dense marsh vegetation. Meanwhile, conspicuous holes in the snowy surface are likely to be the openings of animal tunnels.
  3. Create your own wetland field guide
    Find out what animals live in wetlands near your home. Turtles, birds, fish and frogs are a good place to start. Make a list of wetland plants and animals, including what time of year you'll see them. Add pictures and you'll have a wildlife checklist to visit your favourite wetland with this spring.
  4. Learn about hazardous waste disposal
    Wetlands do a great job of filtering our water, but they could still use our help. By ensuring we dispose of hazardous wastes and chemicals properly, we reduce the amount of unwanted toxins getting into our water systems in the first place. Visit your municipal government's website for disposal information.
  5. Help us protect Canada's wetlands
    Since 1900, half of the world's wetlands have been lost. The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) has been protecting wetlands across Canada for 50 years. From the Tabustinac Estuary in New Brunswick and Minesing Wetlands in Ontario, to the Oak Lake Sandhills and Wetlands of Manitoba and Campbell River Estuary in British Columbia, we are working to ensure that Canada's wetlands are protected, now and forever. To volunteer with NCC or to make a donation that will help us in our mission, visit www.natureconservancy.ca today.

PHOTO: Visitors walk the trails at Minesing Wetlands (photo by NCC)

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