World Wetlands Day: February 2, 2022

The Kimberley Nature Park is lucky enough to have several diverse wetlands within its boundaries. Eimer’s Lake is perhaps the most familiar to park users, but other wetlands in the park include Duck Pond and Dipper Lake. While these are all different types of wetlands, they all share the characteristics of:

  • Water present at or near the ground surface for all or part of the growing season

  • Plants adapted to survive in wet or saturated soils

  • Soils that develop under saturated and anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions

A view of Eimer's Lake, a sphagnum bob, through surrounding trees
Eimer's Lake, a sphagnum bog in the Kimberley Nature Park

Wetlands act like sponges by absorbing water quicky and then releasing it slowly. In this way, they help buffer floods and delay droughts, recharge groundwater, filter pollutants out of the water and help mitigate the impacts of climate change. The recent hot, dry summer and torrential, flooding rains of 2021 illustrate the need for ways to help lessen the impact of more extreme weather.


Some of the other functions that wetlands provide are:

  • Provide habitat for 500 plant and animal species in BC, 70 of which are designated as Threatened or Endangered

  • Provide recreational, educational and scientific opportunities

  • Provide agricultural products

  • Have the potential to mitigate the magnitude of impacts of climate change

  • Act as effective carbon sinks and so can play a role in addressing climate change challenges

  • Save municipalities money by reducing or removing the need for expensive infrastructure

Despite the important role wetlands play, they are disappearing at an alarming rate due to human activities. Worldwide, 35% of wetlands have been lost since 1970. Some areas in BC have lost as much as 85% of their wetlands. The Kootenays have lost many thousands of hectares of wetlands due to flooding from dams and many more hectares from drainage for agricultural or development purposes.


To raise awareness of the importance of and the threats to wetlands, February 2, 2022 has been declared World Wetlands Day. It is a global call to action to prevent further destruction of wetlands and to restore those that have been degraded.


Learn more about wetlands at:

https://bcwetlandsca.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/wetlandprimer_wsp_2010.pdf

https://www.worldwetlandsday.org

https://ramsar50.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Ramsar-50-Factsheet-BIODIVERSITY-English.pdf


Make February 2nd an opportunity to visit a local wetland to celebrate the many critical roles it plays!

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