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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Move Over Groundhogs - It's Also World Wetlands Day

So what's so great about Wetlands? Thank you for asking. 
Paramount Park Upper Pond in Winter Whites
Ph Credit - Janet Way
For me it's about extraordinary beauty and life! 

But at the US Fish and Wildlife Service, they are celebrating because there are FIVE main reasons for
why we should celebrate and protect wetlands. Last year the World Wetlands Day celebrated its 40th anniversary.
 It celebrates the day the Ramsar Wetlands Convention was signed in 1971. The Wetlands Convention promotes the conservation and wise use of wetlands through international cooperation. Today, 1,994 Ramsar sites covering more than 474 million acres have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance.
Paramount Park Natural Area is Shoreline's largest wetland at about 6.5 Acres. But we also have others such as Meridian Park, Ronald Bog, Cromwell Park, Twin Ponds and Echo Lake.
Great Blue Heron at Ronald Bog
ph credit - Janet Way

Beaver Pond Natural Area at Thornton Creek
ph credit - Janet Way

The US. Fish and Wildlife Service "Open Spaces Blog" wants us to know the top FIVE reasons and here they are. So visit your nearest beautiful wetland soon and get to know it and protect it. They are disappearing with alarming regularity due to development and other misguided policies.

5 Things You Need to Know About Wetlands
1. Wetlands give us drinking water!  The groundwater that humans depend on for drinking and other uses is cleaned and purified by wetlands – bogs, marshes, swamps, and other wetland areas actually make our water drinkable.  There are about 33 trillion gallons of groundwater in the U.S. today!
2. Wetlands provide amazing services that affect everyday life for humans and wildlife. They slow down floodwaters, they help stop erosion on beaches and riverbanks, and they make local weather patterns less extreme.  
Wooducks and Hooded Meganzers at
Beaver Pond Natural Area at Thornton Creek
ph Credit - Don MacCall

3. The United States has 30 Wetlands of International Importance!  These sites have received recognition from the international community for their unique biology, incredible diversity, and the important habitat they provide for species that migrate around the world.  Ten of these are on National Wildlife Refuges
4. Wetlands host a variety of habitats and support a diversity of life including some threatened and endangered species. The Chinook salmon, the Northern spotted owls, and the Roswell springsnail all call wetlands home. 

5. Wetlands are vital to fish and the angler community!  Wetlands provide important nutrients and habitat for many different kinds of aquatic animals and help ensure the healthy waterways.  According to the 2006 National Survey (link), fishing contributes $42 billion to the U.S. economy.

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