World Wetlands Day

We Love Our Wetlands - World Wetlands Day
February 2nd marks World Wetlands Day. It is 50 years since it was first celebrated and it was originally held to highlight the increasing loss and degradation of wetland habitat for migratory water birds.
Wetlands are among the most diverse and productive ecosystems. They provide essential services and supply all our fresh water.
Wetlands include lake, rivers, marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, estuaries, deltas, mudflats, coral reefs and all human made sites, such as ponds and reservoirs. 40% of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands.
Peatlands only cover 3% of the world’s surface but store at least twice as much carbon as the Earth’s standing forests. Depending on their condition, peatlands can act as a carbon sink. Activities, such as drain blocking and water table monitoring can stop carbon leakage.
Peatlands can also influence water regulation by slowing water loss from hills or mountains which can help reduce the likelihood of flooding associated with higher rainfall impacts of climate change. They can also reduce storm flows and delay runoffs.
Biodiversity of peatlands is limited, but they are home to a unique variety of species. The main plant of peatlands is sphagnum moss, it will only thrive on waterlogged ground. They are nutrient poor areas and the plants that live there have to adapt to live in such harsh conditions.
Let’s celebrate, protect and treasure all our wetlands, especially our peatlands!
To find out more about World Wetlands Day see https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/ and http://irishwetlands.ie/