MEMPHIS, Tenn. â€“ Conservationists across the globe are celebrating World Wetlands Day, recognizing the importance of these valuable ecosystems for humans and wildlife alike. Ducks Unlimited strives to raise public awareness about the benefits of wetlands as waterfowl habitat and a key to water quality, and World Wetlands Day focuses on conservation solutions for these critical parts of our landscape.
WWD marks the signing of the Convention on Wetlands on Feb. 2, 1971, in Ramsar, Iran. 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 raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular.
This year's theme is â€śWetlands For Disaster Risk Reduction.â€ť
"Ducks Unlimited conserves wetlands to maintain healthy waterfowl populations, but the state of our wetlands affects everyone in many ways," said Ducks Unlimited Chief Conservation Officer Paul Schmidt. "World Wetlands Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the threats wetlands face and their importance in providing clean water, flood protection and community resilience. As the leader in wetlands conservation, our members, volunteers and supporters are always working to make a difference in wetlands conservation not only for waterfowl, but for everyone."
Every species of duck, goose and swan in North America depends on wetland habitat throughout their life cycle. DU's programs reach from the arctic tundra of Alaska to the tropical wetlands of Mexico and Latin America. We are conserving prairie potholes and native grasslands in the Great Plains, restoring bottomland hardwood forests in the lower Mississippi River Valley, protecting and enhancing the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and protecting and improving wetland habitats in the Central Valley of California and the Coastal Prairies of Texas, just to name a few.
Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Ducks Unlimited Canada, Ducks Unlimited de Mexico and Wetlands America Trust are committed to making DU's vision of abundant wetlands a reality through the "Rescue Our Wetlands: Banding Together for Waterfowl" campaign. The $2 billion continental campaign was launched in 2015.
This year, Ducks Unlimited is celebrating 80 years of rescuing our wetlands.
â€śWe know the landscapes most important to waterfowl are often different than those where most waterfowl supporters live,â€ť Schmidt said. â€śEvery day is World Wetlands Day at Ducks Unlimited.â€ť
Visit www.worldwetlandsday.org to find out more about World Wetlands Day.