One important word is missing from the conversation Canadians are having about climate change. Wetlands.
Wetlands are natural defenders against extreme weather, protecting our communities and our way of life. February 2nd is World Wetlands Day. It’s time to include these ecosystems in the conversation about our changing environment and make a commitment to conserve them.
Wetlands store vast amounts of carbon, keeping it from being released into the atmosphere. They act like natural sponges that absorb water to prevent floods and can help buffer against drought. They are protective barriers that shield our coastlines from rising tides and storms. Wetlands do all of this, but largely go unnoticed and continue to be lost. The science that measures their value, however, speaks for itself.
Canada’s wetlands store approximately 150 billion tonnes of carbon. That’s equivalent to the emissions of roughly six billion cars over 20 years. Additionally, when one acre of wetland is returned to the landscape it stores up to 1,000 cubic metres of runoff—or about 6,250 bathtubs worth. The benefits wetlands provide are real, and these vital ecosystems are proving their merit every day.
Now, more than ever, wetlands and their ability to provide climate change solutions demand recognition—and action.
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