Canadians have a complicated relationship with water. It’s a basic resource that we can’t do without. And yet—too much of it in the wrong place can wreak havoc. There’s a solution: wetlands.
For 80 years, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has conserved these most critical allies on the landscape. In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, we’re highlighting how wetlands help protect our communities from flood and drought, and clean our water.
Natural areas are essential to the health of communities, and wetlands are one of the most powerful systems available to us.
Conserving wetlands and harnessing their natural power is something that’s starting to gain ground. At Doc’s Marsh, wetlands are providing waterfowl and wildlife with habitat while actively holding rainwater and snowmelt, filtering pollutants, storing carbon, replenishing groundwater, and reducing the impact of floods and erosion.
Natural systems can’t be replaced or replicated by concrete. While grey infrastructure, like water treatment plants, have their role to play, they can’t deliver the additional benefits that wetlands provide.
Despite how important wetland conservation is to our water and our communities, wetlands are under threat. Up to 80 acres (32 hectares) are lost every day in settled areas of Canada. This is the equivalent of about 45 soccer fields every 24 hours.
World Water Day reminds all Canadians of the critical role nature plays in our lives.
World Water Day, on 22 March every year, is about focusing attention on the importance of water. This year’s theme, ‘Nature for Water’, explores nature-based solutions to the water challenges we face in the 21st century.
Director of national conservation operations, Ducks Unlimited.