For Immediate Release – February 2, 2024
Laura Lapierre, Wetlands Program Manager
Department of Environmental Conservation
World Wetlands Day 2024 Celebrates Ties Between Wetlands and Wellbeing
Montpelier, Vt. – Today, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recognizes World Wetlands Day and invites Vermonters to celebrate the value of wetlands. From fens and bogs to marshes and swamps, Vermont’s diverse wetlands mark where land and water meet. Spanning over 300,000 acres statewide, wetlands may be saturated or flooded with water either year-round or for only a few weeks of the year.
First celebrated in 1997, World Wetlands Day raises awareness about wetlands and the functions and values they provide for people and for the health of the land. This year’s theme centers on the ties between wetlands and human wellbeing.
DEC Commissioner Jason Batchelder looks forward to “celebrating World Wetlands Day, where Vermonters can join the global effort to support wetlands for the wellbeing of present and future generations.”
World Wetlands Day also marks the anniversary of the global Convention on Wetlands (or the Ramsar Convention). Adopted in 1971, the Convention on Wetlands is an international treaty that provides a framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. The Convention on Wetlands details six ways wetlands are tied to wellbeing:
- Wetlands are essential for human life.
- Healthy wetlands advance human health.
- Wetland biodiversity promotes human wellbeing.
- Wetlands contribute to economies around the world.
- Wetlands protect against climate change.
- Wetlands are a cherished part of cultural and spiritual life.
Wetlands also provide almost all the world’s freshwater and store more carbon than any other ecosystem. They offer clean water, medicine, food security, recreation, and many other benefits. Further, each acre of inland wetlands absorbs up to 1.5 million gallons of floodwater, helping to reduce floods and delay and relieve droughts.
“The planetary crises of climate change, nature loss, and pollution are harming human health. Together, we can help protect both wetlands and our wellbeing,” said Wetlands Program Manager Laura Lapierre. “Vermonters starting new projects near wetlands – whether the wetlands are mapped or not – should reach out to their District Wetlands Ecologist for assistance.”
For more information about World Wetlands Day and how wetlands boost wellbeing, go to WorldWetlandsDay.org. To learn more about Vermont’s wetlands, visit the Vermont Wetlands Program’s online resources or contact your District Wetlands Ecologist. If Laura Lapierre is not available at 802-490-6177 or Laura.Lapierre@Vermont.gov, contact Zapata Courage at 802-490-6179 or Zapata.Courage@Vermont.gov.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is responsible for protecting Vermont's natural resources and safeguarding human health for the benefit of this and future generations. Visit dec.vermont.gov and follow the Department of Environmental Conservation on Facebook and Instagram.
The theme for World Wetlands Day on February 2, 2024 is the connection between wetlands and human wellbeing. Graphic courtesy of the Convention on Wetlands.
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