The theme for 2018 is “Wetlands for an urban future”.
Squamish has a diversity of wetlands, including examples from each of the 5 major classification types: mashes, swamps, bogs, fens and shallow open water. The Squamish Estuary is the easiest to find and the most well-known. It receives some protection as a designated Wildlife Management Area and has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA). Only 3% of BC’s coast is classified as estuarine.
Wetlands are no longer considered “wastelands” but rather as critical ecosystems that provide clean water, critical habitat for species at risk, and nurseries for young Pacific salmon. They also help combat climate change by sequestering large amounts of carbon and preventing it from being released into the atmosphere.
How do we reduce our impact on wetlands and recognize their value? By being good stewards for now and seven generations from now.
Photo: River Otter (Lontra canadensis), a well-known resident of the Squamish Estuary