World Wetlands Day celebrated at Port Pirie
21 March 2016
Local families came together recently at the Wandearah Wetlands in Port Pirie to celebrate UNESCO World Wetlands Day, with the international theme for 2016 being Wetlands for our future: sustainable livelihoods.
With guided walking tours, activities for the kids, water testing and experiments and a free sausage sizzle, it was a fun, interactive and educational evening, attracting approximately 70 people of mostly families with young children.
The event was an initiative of the Port Pirie Regional Council and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Management Board.
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Senior Aquatic Ecologists Douglas Green and Jason Vanlaarhoven were engaged to present at the celebrations and said the management of urban wetlands is dependent on what the overall goals of the local community are.
Mr Green gave a summary of the Wandearah Wetlands and said the survey list indicated that it is in ‘reasonably good’ condition due to the diversity of the ecosystem and the relatively low salinity level.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Water Officer Jennifer Munro said World Wetlands Day was important in raising awareness of the significant benefits of wetlands, both to the community and in supporting healthy and productive landscapes.
"Wetlands play a vital role as habitats and refuges for animal and plant species and for improving water quality across the region.
Wetlands also provide a recreational space for communities to experience and enjoy aquatic environments, together with serving as important filters and storage for stormwater from urban areas."
Ms Munro said that events like this provide a great opportunity for local councils and Natural Resources Northern and Yorke to collaborate and highlight places in the community where adults and children alike can explore and learn about the world around them.
World Wetlands Day has been celebrated since 1997 to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) in Ramsar, Iran, on 2 February 1971.
To learn more about World Wetlands Day, visit http://www.environment.gov.au/water/wetlands/world-wetlands-day.
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