Like our own kidneys that help purify our blood, wetlands are the ‘kidneys’ of our landscape. They remove excess nutrients, toxic substances and sediment from water that flows through them, helping to improve downstream water quality and the overall health of the waters throughout the world. They also protect against flooding, provide recreational opportunities and serve as important habitat for many wildlife species.
During American Wetlands Month, we wanted to see how well you know this vital environmental resource. Take our quiz to find out.
Yet, in all the pomp and circumstance of the annual occasion, Phil forgot to mention it is also World Wetlands Day, and how losing wetlands has more effect on us than his weather forecasting.
Chances are, you are more familiar with a wetland than you are with a woodchuck. Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.
On this day in 1971, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar to provide the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands, which cover more than 6 percent of the earth.
However, that doesn’t mean the wetlands are doing as well as the famous rodent. Here are the facts:
Global wetlands have declined between 64 – 71 percent since 1900.
The annual cost of the loss of wetland ecosystem services is more than $20 trillion.
Instead of worrying about how accurate a groundhog can be predicting the weather, which statistically is only 36 percent since 1969, consider instead using this day to support our wetlands. Go to t4ci.org/sponsored to see the many sponsored projects which are making a difference.