World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day Quick Facts - CA

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2025 DateFebruary 2, 2025
2026 DateFebruary 2, 2026

World Wetlands Day

World Wetlands Day in

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World Wetlands Day History

World Wetlands Day aims to raise awareness about the vital role that wetlands play in the ecosystem. Wetlands, which include marshes, swamps, bogs, and other watery landscapes, provide essential habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and contribute to the health of the environment by filtering pollutants, recharging groundwater supplies, and mitigating the impacts of floods and climate change. The day is an occasion to recognize the importance of these habitats and reaffirm our commitment towards their conservation, restoration, and wise-use.

The origins of World Wetlands Day trace back to the 1971 "Convention on Wetlands", held in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Canadians have a particular connection to this event: Canada is one of the 18 original signatories to the Ramsar Convention, and the country boasts 37 Ramsar sites, conservation areas recognized for their international significance. These sites cover a total of over 13 million hectares, making Canada home to more Ramsar-designated land than any other nation. World Wetlands Day is thus a chance for Canadians to celebrate these national treasures and reflect on their role in sustaining them for future generations.

In Canada, World Wetlands Day is marked by a variety of events and activities. These include educational programming, community-led cleanups and restoration projects, and social media campaigns designed to boost public awareness and engagement. The day is observed each year on the 2nd of February, a date chosen to commemorate the original signing of the Ramsar Convention. Whether by participating in a local event or simply appreciating Canada's wealth of wetland ecosystems, each of us can play a part in preserving these vital habitats and the biodiversity they support.

Facts about World Wetlands Day

  • The theme for World Wetlands Day in 2024 was Wetlands and Human Wellbeing. The theme in 2023 was Wetland Restoration.
  • The Pantanal which is located in South America, measures over 42 million acres and is the world’s largest tropical wetland.
  • More than 600 species of plants, fish, mammals, and birds can be found in Canadian wetlands.
  • Approximately 70% of wetlands in settled areas of Canada have been lost due to human activities.

Top things to do in Canada for World Wetlands Day

  • Go outdoors and participate in events and activities such as tree planting, bird watching.
  • Spread awareness on social media by using hashtags such as #WorldWetlandsDay or #WetlandsMatter
  • Read a book to learn more about the Wetlands:
    A Field Guide to the Wetlands of Western Canada: Wetlands in a Changing Landscape - by Peter D. Vitt and Kevin J. Gould
    Metropolitan Wetlands: From Brownfields to Biodiversity - by Ute Lehrer and Jennefer Laidley
  • Visit Point Pelee National Park: This national park in Ontario is a must-visit for bird watchers and nature enthusiasts. You can take a guided tour or explore the park's marshes and shores on your own.

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