World Wetlands Day 2009 -- United States

19/02/2009

WWD events in the USA

Collated by Suzanna Pittenger-Slear, Chair of the US National Ramsar Committee
and Ramsar National CEPA Focal Point

Wilma H Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
(24th U.S. Ramsar Site):

Wetlands Open House celebrates World Wetlands Day - An open house at the Olentangy River Wetlands celebrated World Wetlands Day at the Heffner Wetland Building at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park, 352 W. Dodridge. Visitors enjoyed free hot cider and cookies; international wetland research displays and local fare; continuous showing of Olentangy River Wetland documentary; and a search for muskrat Olentangy Olga. Tours of the wetlands and its research labs were also offered.

Read their press release here (PDF).

Participants view international exhibits at the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
World Wetland Day event

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Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Celebrates World Wetlands Day

US National Ramsar Chair visits Blackwater NWR Visitors Center – Suzanne Pittenger-Slear presented a sign to the Visitor’s Center at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, part of the Chesapeake Bay Estuarine Complex (6th U.S. Ramsar Site). The poster encouraged visitors to ask questions about Ramsar, and the significance of Wetlands of International Importance. Caption 2. The Visitor’s Center volunteer, Zeeger deWilde, proudly pointed out the eagle cam located next to the eagle display. Mr. de Wilde has volunteered over 10,000 hours at the Refuge.

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Kawainui-Hamakua Marsh Complex
(22nd U.S. Ramsar Site)

On Monday February 16, 2009, the site highlighted the transfer of Kawainui Marsh from the City and County of Honolulu to DLNR with noted speakers, displays and excursions to wetland sites. This transfer allowed a major wetland restoration project by the Army Corps of Engineers and DLNR to move forward. It also established the DLNR, Division of Forestry and Wildlife as the managers for the wildlife sanctuary at Kawainui and Hamakua for Hawai‘i’s endangered waterbirds with community support in restoration and educational programs. The flyer produced for their event is available here (PDF).

Youth restoring a wetland bird habitat in Hawainui Marsh, Hawaii

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Wakarusa Wetlands

Here in Kansas we were unable to arrange recognition literally on February 2nd, but we did make World Wetland Day the centerpiece of the Haskell Voices event the next night at the Haskell Indian Nations University student union, where over 200 native students drawn from an enrollment that represents well over a hundred tribes, listened to fellow students and faculty perform poetry, wide ranging music, and stories about the Wakarusa Wetlands and its place in Haskell's 125 year history and spiritual traditions.

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U.S. National Ramsar Committee

The US National Ramsar Committee's Chair, Suzanne Pittenger-Slear made a personal phone call to the 25 U.S. Ramsar sites to wish all a Happy World Wetlands Day, and to pass on the Committee’s interest in the sites, and commitment to supporting site activities and issues. She was able to speak to a representative at 19 of the 25 sites. The response from the sites was overwhelming. Suzanne spoke to many site managers, received invitations to visit sites, and made note of numerous ideas and requests from site managers.

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The Convention today

Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,181 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,545,658

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