As people head to the lake this summer, their thoughts turn to family fun on the water, lakeside BBQs, and playing on the beach. But in Saskatchewan, the lakes we’ve come to love and appreciate are changing, and not for the better. Algae blooms are becoming more frequent and we’re hearing warnings from scientists that things will only get worse.
That’s why the Provincial Association of Resort Communities of Saskatchewan (PARCS) and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) have joined forces to inform resort communities about water quality – and the important role that wetlands play in keeping our lakes clean.
Saskatchewan is blessed with an abundance of wetlands; you may know them as potholes, sloughs, and marshes. Besides providing critical wildlife habitat and biodiversity, healthy wetland systems store water and slow water flows reducing flooding, and they moderate climate and fight climate change by storing carbon.
Wetland plants, soils and microorganisms are also champions of water purification, filtering and breaking down excess nutrients and pollutants from watersheds before they reach our lakes. Conserving wetlands maintains this key filtering capacity and disrupts the pathways through which pollutants can reach our lakes, safeguarding our ongoing enjoyment of lakeside recreation and activities.
This is the message that PARCS and DUC are bringing to residents of cottage country this summer.
“We are pleased to be able to participate in this initiative and partner with DUC on such an important issue,” says Lynne Saas, PARCS executive director. “With DUC’s science and education expertise, I am confident we’ll be better able to inform cottagers about the value of wetland conservation and restoration as critical agents in the protection of our resort communities”.
DUC’s head of industry and government relations, Michael Champion, also sees a natural partner in PARCS. “With strong ties to the province’s recreational lakes that often span generations, members of Saskatchewan’s resort communities are knowledgeable and vocal advocates for healthy aquatic ecosystems. By including wetlands in all our conversations about water quality, we ensure these powerful ecosystems are rightfully valued for the solutions they provide.”
The “Thank a Wetland” campaign is slated to run all summer and will include social media contests, newsletters, and attendance at summer lakeside festivals.
For more information about PARCS visit facebook.com/skparcs and for information about DUC , water quality and wetlands visit: ducks.ca/healthy-lakes/.
The Provincial Association of Resort Communities of Saskatchewan (PARCS) is the independent association that supports and represents the interests of cottage communities of Saskatchewan. Our vision is to be the voice of action for strengthening and supporting the cottage way of life in Saskatchewan. To learn more about the work of PARCS, visit www.skparcs.com.
Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in wetland conservation. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations, Indigenous Peoples and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment. To learn more about DUC’s innovative environmental solutions and services, visit www.ducks.ca.
Communications specialist, DUC Saskatchewan
Executive director, PARCS