World Wetlands Day focused on improving awareness, protection for Sask. ecosystems
YORKTON -- Experts are hoping World Wetlands Day gets people interested in protecting the shrinking ecosystems in Canada’s wetlands.
Wetlands, both temporary and permanent, serve as a natural filter for larger bodies of water, replenish renewable water resources and serve as a home to many species.
"The wetlands do all these things and it's pretty easy to forget that," said Peter Leavitt, Canada Research Chair.
Jeff Olson, managing director at Citizens Environmental Alliance, said it is important to remember all the good these areas do, but to also mourn the ones we have lost.
"This day is very important because it highlights the importance of wetlands, not only in Saskatchewan, but around the world," Olson said.
Human interference to mitigate inconveniences like mosquitos and farmland drainage are both damaging to these wetlands areas, as well as aspects out of human control, such as the dry winter conditions experienced thus far.
“With that said, all we need is, you know, we've seen this before, you get a foot of snow unexpectedly towards the end of march and the drought's broken and there's no problem," Leavitt said.
Feb. 2 was World Wetlands Day and is meant to raise awareness around a lesser-known topic while promoting the need to protect these areas.
Leavitt said leaving any pooled bodies of water alone is a good place to start when it comes to conservation.
"Just because you have a pool there doesn't make it a bad thing, yes you won't be able to practise your golf chipping quite as well if there, but maybe you could make it a water hazard instead."
While we can each do our part for the wetlands, both Leavitt and Olson said preservation also falls on the government.
"We need leadership from the province and the federal government to say that they have the overall interest of society to look out for and that they need to have a wetland policy," said Olson.
Saskatchewan is the only province to not have a wetland policy.