Drink a Glass of Water – Thank a Wetland
If you used water today to brush your teeth, cook or quench your thirst, you should probably thank a wetland! If you’re wondering why you should care, consider what wetlands do for us.
From providing ecological services such as flood control and carbon storage to food production, wetlands play a vital role in our day-to-day lives.
Wetlands are good for your health. They play a key role in removing sediments, excess nutrients and even bacteria from drinking water. Over two-thirds of Canadians get their drinking water from lakes, rivers and reservoirs, and the quality of that water depends on the health of the watershed, including wetlands. Like giant sponges, wetlands also absorb and replenish water to buffer our communities from flood and drought risks.
Wetlands are vital nesting and feeding grounds for waterfowl, they provide nursery habitat for fishes and are one of Canada’s most diverse ecosystems. At least half of our wildlife species rely on wetlands for at least part of their lifecycle.
Canada is home to 25 percent of the world’s wetlands; more than any other country. However, our wetlands are disappearing due to infrastructure development such as roads and cities or drainage for agricultural production. This loss of wetlands is especially high in southern Canada.
C.H.A. Note - The Haliburton Highlands has more than 20,000 wetlands but has lost 1000’s more. Every wetland we have left is important – let’s protect them
Wetlands are among the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s most important habitats we are working to conserve. We also restore wetlands that have been degraded, to improve these natural spaces for migratory birds, amphibians, fishes and other wildlife.
In addition to their importance for nature, many of the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s wetland areas provide recreational opportunities such as walking, hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing and canoeing, along with educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn and explore.
Canada is well positioned to make a difference on a global scale by protecting our wetlands so that they can continue to trap and store large amounts of carbon. Our wetlands are also important to help nature and local communities adapt to the impacts of climate change by protecting us from storm surges, drought and flooding.
Adapted from an article by Dan Kraus - Nature Conservancy of Canada
Wetlands: Paul Heaven
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