Wednesday, February 2, 2011

World Wetlands Day

Today we celebrate not only Groundhog’s Day, but it is also World Wetlands Day. Declared in 1971, countries around the world gathered to sign the Convention on Wetlands, an intergovernmental treaty and the first eco focused convention. Since then, on February 2nd activists all over the world unite and proclaim the benefits of wetlands around the world.

What are wetlands?

Many consider wetlands to lie in the surrounding coastal areas, however a wetland is any area of land where water covers a solid area that can range in various size, and can last years or just a few months. The embodying water can be still, flowing, fresh or salty. In North Carolina, wetlands are home to many plants and animals that rely on each other for food and shelter. Overall ,wetlands are the most valuable and productive ecosystems on the earth that provide food, shelter, and are areas for nurseries or buffer zones for animals breeding.

How to protect wetlands in North Carolina?

Pollution, urban encroachment and, partial drainage has strained the degradation of our wetlands. To help protect these valuable sources on our coast is a difficult task, however there are programs across the state that protect and support wetlands and the wildlife that you can participate in. Volunteer with the many watershed or conservation groups across the state, or work with a community group that take on a wetland to preserve. Plant native plants in your yard and limit the use of fertilizers and pesticides that pollute our neighboring waterways to the lakes and oceans.

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