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World Wetlands Day

by Ryan Waddoups on Feb 2, 2015

Happy World Wetlands Day!

What exactly is World Wetlands Day? This occasion marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands by the Iranian City of Ramsar in 1971. The Convention’s mission is to conserve wetlands through local action and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world. BBP, whose landscape includes several types of wetlands, wants to reflect on their importance not only to the park, but to the entire planet.

Close up of yellow flower with the Pier 1 Salt Marsh in the background on a sunny day.

©Etienne Frossard

Wetlands are land areas that are saturated or flooded with water either permanently or seasonally. They absorb rainfall, facilitate biodiversity, filter water, reduce flooding and storm surges, and have a high water storage capacity which helps prevent drought and climate change. Despite these benefits, wetlands are often treated as wastelands. Nearly 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900, a result of increased agriculture, coastal development, water diversion through dams and canals, and pollution. Because of this, access to fresh water has declined and natural habitats for numerous species are being destroyed.

What can we do to protect wetlands? Change harmful consumption habits and educate others! Spreading the word of the benefits of wetlands is an effective way to raise awareness of this slowly disappearing natural resource. Buying sustainably raised seafood, produce, and meat, along with conserving water and recycling are all effective methods in preserving our wetlands.

At BBP, various types of wetlands can be found throughout the park. Our freshwater gardens collect and filter rainwater and are a favorite of our growing butterfly and migratory bird population. Our salt marsh at Pier 1 was pivotal in protecting the park during Superstorm Sandy and provides habitat for waterfowl, crustaceans and bivalves. We love our wetlands at BBP and want our park-goers to appreciate their health and beauty as well!

To learn more about wetlands and World Wetlands Day, check out the official World Wetlands Day website.

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