World Wetlands Day (WWD) will be celebrated in 171 countries on Sunday, February 2. This day commemorates the signing of the Convention on Wetlands, the oldest Treaty seeking to conserve natural resources on a global scale. The Convention on Wetlands provides the framework for international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
Around the globe, there are over 2,300 wetland sites, totaling 557 million acres designated as Wetlands of International Importance. The United States has designated 40 sites, covering over 5 million acres. On October 3, 2019, the Niagara River Corridor was designated as a Wetland of International Importance. Millions of people visit this site every year to see one of the most recognizable waterfalls in the world, and to enjoy hiking, fishing and birdwatching.
We are proud to have a Wetland of International Importance on the Eastern Shore. Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is part of the larger Chesapeake Estuarine Complex, designated in 1986. Environmental Concern (EC) staff will join visitors and staff at the refuge on Monday, February 3, to raise awareness about the importance of conserving and protecting wetlands. Visit the Refuge this weekend to observe the many species of migrating birds that depend on wetlands for food and protection from the harsh winter weather. Take a photograph of one of the many migrating species at the Refuge. Send your photos to firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in Environmental Concern’s WWD activities. The pictures will be added to EC’s event on the Convention’s website at www.ramsar.org.
Environmental Concern will also participate in a Shoreline Clean-Up to observe the day. Joining EC in this celebration are National Wildlife Refuges, Wetlands of International Importance, and many other environmental centers around the globe, commemorating World Wetlands Day with a variety of activities and programs all focused on wetlands. EC staff will walk the shoreline along the San Domingo Creek in St. Michaels, picking up trash along the banks of the Creek.
“Celebrating World Wetlands Day supports the mission of Environmental Concern by raising awareness of the importance of wetland resources, and encouraging the public to participate by learning about the benefits of wetlands,” said EC’s president, Suzanne Pittenger-Slear. This year, the World Wetlands Day theme is “Wetlands and Biodiversity”. For more information about the celebration, visit: www.worldwetlandsday.org. Free posters and activities are available on the site.