World Wetlands Day 2018

February 02, 2018 Dyer Island Conservation Trust

The Dyer Island Conservation Trust’s Environmental Education Programme (DEEP) met for their first lesson of the year on wetlands. World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on 2 February.

The theme for 2018 is “Wetlands for a Sustainable Urban Future” and the students were encouraged to reduce their school’s water bill by 10% every month to avoid water restrictions in their respective areas.

Why should we care about Wetlands?

A wetland is an area of land saturated with water either permanently or seasonally such as marshes, swamps, floodplains. Sadly, lots of wetlands have been degraded to accommodate the growing numbers of human population in the urban areas.

  • With less than 1% of the world’s freshwater accessible, wetlands help to clean, purify and filter harmful waste from water making it safe for humans to drink and use.
  • Wetlands are very important for absorbing and slowing down heavy rainfall which helps prevent flooding.
  • They are very important for biodiversity, often home to more than 100 000 freshwater species of animals and plants!
  • Humans eat an average of 19kg of fish per year! Most of this fish comes from coastal wetlands.
  • Wetlands store 30% of all the carbon in the world, twice as much as the amount of carbon in rainforests.

DEEP was joined by the learners from Albert Myburgh High School in Bredasdorp, SANPARKS rangers and Louine Boothway from Water Explorer. The lesson included showing the learners a wetland model and how urban living can impact on the wetland and how the wetland is beneficial to urban dwellers.

DEEP educator, Pinkey Ngewu, also gave a presentation to the