World Wetlands Day 2005 -- Canada
The Columbia Wetlands are recognized for their international significance. The 180-kilometer Columbia Wetlands represent a remnant ecosystem of once vast interior wetlands. The interwoven river channels and wetlands are a primary source of fresh water for the Pacific Northwest and provide critical nesting and breeding habitat for migratory birds whose travels span two continents. They are also important for several federally listed species at risk.
Today is not only Ground Hog day but it is also World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits. This year the Honourable Stephane Dion, Minister of the Environment, signed the nomination letter to the appropriate body in Switzerland regarding designation for the Columbia Wetlands as Canada's newest Ramsar Site. The designation will make this part of Canada even more internationally significant, as the Columbia Valley is next door to the Canadian Rockies World Heritage Site.
Lois Lodermeier (250) 347 2205, Jenny Klafki (250) 343 6130
Lori Horrocks (250 343 6155, Larry Halverson (250 347 2207
"There's wealth in wetland diversity
- don't lose it!"