What is Adopt-a-Wetland?
The Adopt-A-Wetland is a community based environmental stewardship program established by IBEC. It was developed to promote awareness of the many benefits of wetlands and for enlisting volunteers in monitoring and protecting these vital resources.
What are Wetlands?
Wetlands are areas in which the water table is at or near the land surface and includes bogs, fens, marshes, swamps and other shallow open water areas. Wetlands are important because they are nature’s water filters. They collect and store runoff, reduce downstream flooding and erosion, clean and purify water, recharge groundwater zones, and provide unique habitats for plants and animals. They are also a great recreational spot.
What is Happening to our Wetlands?
Wetland ecosystems are being threatened worldwide. The lack of appreciation for these habitats has resulted in their destruction through development and poor management practices. In Canada alone, up to 70 per cent of wetlands have been lost in settled areas.
Human activities cause wetland degradation and loss by changing water quality, quantity, and flow rates for developmental, industrial and agricultural projects. The outcome has been the increasing pollutant inputs and changing species composition as a result of disturbance and the introduction of non-native species. Other sources of degradation are a result of recreational activities such as driving ATVs and other vehicles through wetlands.
Steps to preventing wetland loss and degradation begin with the knowledge that wetland retention is better than wetland restoration
What can be Done in Adopted Wetlands?
Adopt-a-Wetland is open to groups and individuals. Either select a wetland near and dear to you or let us help match your interests with one of our priority sites for adoption in your area. Activities you can do for your adopted wetland include:
- Plant and animal surveys
- Bird nesting boxes
- Water quality monitoring
- Habitat enhancement projects
- Invasive species removal
- Wetland replanting & restoration
- Reporting ecological problems and poaching to authorities