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Stepping out of the shadow – make way for wetlands on Groundhog Day

February 02, 2016 National
Stepping out of the shadow – make way for wetlands on Groundhog Day

Shadow or no shadow, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) enjoys watching the groggy groundhog emerge from his burrow as much as everyone else. For 78 years, DUC has been conserving habitat that benefits a host of wildlife like groundhogs. But one other important element of the natural world is often overlooked on Groundhog Day: wetlands.

February 2nd is also World Wetlands Day. These marshes, ponds and bogs are at the heart of DUC’s conservation work. They are powerful and important for many reasons. Science shows that the status and health of wetlands can tell us a great deal. They are some of the best environmental forecasters.

  • Wetlands act as nature’s water filters, removing pollutants from water before it reaches lakes, rivers and streams.
  • They work like sponges, holding moisture during wet periods and releasing it when conditions are dry.
  • Wetlands also store huge amounts of carbon, keeping it from being released into the atmosphere as greenhouse gas.

When wetlands are destroyed, Canadians see more algae in their lakes. They see more damage cause by flooding and more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. In Canada, as many as 80 acres of wetlands are lost every day. That’s the equivalent of 45 soccer fields every 24 hours.

Wetlands are also great places to relax and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Hiking, snowshoeing, bird-watching opportunities are great this time of year. So regardless of whatever forecast our furry friend delivers, DUC encourages all Canadians to shake off their urge to hibernate by getting outside and celebrating World Wetlands Day.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.

Contact Information

Nigel Simms, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Phone: 204-467-3266