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Fri 2nd Feb, 2018 will be...

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2nd Feb each year

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World Wetlands Day is a great excuse to go tromp around in your nearest wetland, but it’s also a great chance to take a moment to think about the environment. Have a seat and let’s take a look at the wetlands and why it is important to have a day in their honor. Do you know what exactly a wetland is? A wetland can be defined as land that contains marshes or swamps.

History of World Wetlands Day
The first time this holiday was celebrated was in 1997. Each year a new theme is selected and that is the focus of all the celebrations for that year. Some of the past themes have been “No wetlands, no water”, “Fish for tomorrow?” and “Healthy wetlands, healthy people”. World Wetlands Day brings awareness and remembrance of the Convention on Wetlands of 1971. The convention and the world wetlands day were established to educate on the importance of wetlands and what they mean to humanity and the planet.

Be honest, do you really know about the importance of wetlands? I didn’t think so because neither did I! There is data that proves the link between healthy wetlands and the decrease of violent weather. Also, when there are healthy wetlands, the people nearby tend to be healthier. UN Water estimates that 90% of natural hazards are water based. This makes the wetlands so important. When violent weather comes in, the wetlands act as a buffer. This gives time for the bad weather to slow a little and give time for the people nearby to get to safety. If the wetlands can stall the weather slightly there can be less damage to property and loss of life. Beginning to see why we should take care of the wetlands? I know I am!

How to Celebrate World Wetlands Day
To celebrate World Wetlands Day as a family it would be a good time to see if there are wetlands in your community. If there are, you are sure to find a group or agency that oversees them. You may find that there are activities sponsored on this day. If you do not find any events directly in your area, why not host one? You can get ideas and materials at worldwetlsndsday.org, if you have a wetland, you could take the time to go and visit. I know that sometimes wetlands can have trails that will allow you to walk and enjoy the green space and reconnect with nature. Look around as you walk and you will find that not only are the wetlands a treasure, but the animals that live within them.

Not up for a trek outside? Why not spend a little time reading up about them and the issue of conservation? Get involved by signing petitions, calling elected officials or meet others in your area that are also looking to make a difference. Most of all just make sure to celebrate World Wetlands Day!

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