World Wetland Day is celebrated on February 2nd every year. It is sponsored by the organization called Ramsar. Ramsar Sites are wetlands identified and designated because they are considered Wetlands of International Importance. These wetlands contain representative, rare or unique wetland types, and they are important for conserving biological diversity. Only 38 Ramsar sites are in the U.S. of the 2,200 Ramsar sites identified in the world. The Missisquoi Delta and Bay wetlands is the only Ramsar Site in Vermont. This site and all the other wetlands that contribute to Vermont’s landscape, clean water, support of local economy, biodiversity are worthy of a celebration; These are the messages the Wetlands Program is sharing at the State House on February 1, 2019.
The Wetlands Program staff will be setting up a display, similar to the one set up in 2018 (photos). For the 2018 World Wetland Day, the theme was overall functions and values of wetlands with additional information provided on the economics of wetlands; how wetlands provide an economic benefit to local communities.
This year, 2019, a focus will be to engage lawmakers, so they learn who their District Wetland Ecologist is in their regions serving their constituents and to share, specifically, how wetlands provide for better water quality. Two wetlands within each county will be highlighted with photos and a quick description. A poster reiterating us of water quality concerns and identifying areas of potential wetland restoration sites on a prioritization map will be displayed.
Another poster of Vermont with Town and County names overlaid with the District Ecologists regions will also be displayed with an interactive component. Those lawmakers that actively select and pin their name to the town they come from will be entered into a Raffle! A celebration is not complete without at least one present.
Wetland staff will interact with law makers one-on-one to answer questions and share information. Lawmakers can view video footage, which is a collection of video and images showing various wetland systems throughout Vermont, animals that utilize wetlands as primary habitat, and images of restoration sites in VT. They will be able to review the displays, check out maps, and take away handouts on different topics.