World Wetlands Day 2018

World Wetlands Day – February 2, 2018
blog by Sarah Kearns, NWNL Project Manager

Okavango Delta, Botswana, Africa

What are “wetlands”?

Synonyms: Marsh, fen, bog, pothole, mire, swamp, bottomlands, pond, wet meadows, muskeg, slough, floodplains, river overflow, mudflats, saltmarsh, sea grass beds, estuaries, and mangroves.

Development on edge of Columbia Wetlands, British Columbia

Worldwide, wetlands regulate floods, filter water, recharge aquifers, provide habitat, store carbon, and inspire photographers & artists.

Cyprus trees in Atchafalaya River Basin Wetlands, Louisiana

Wetlands control rain, snowmelt, and floodwater releases: mitigation that is more effective and less costly than man-made dams. Nearly 2 billion people live with high flood risk – This will increase as wetlands are lost or degraded.

Fishing boats among invasive water hyacinth in Lake Victoria, Tanzania

Wetlands absorb nitrogen and phosphorous which provides cleaner water downstream for drink water supplies, aquifers and reservoirs.

Woman collecting water in Maseru Swamp, Tanzania

Wetlands absorb heat by day and release is at night, moderating local climates.

Red-earred turtles in Bluebonnet Swamp, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

We all need the clean air, water, and protection from flooding that wetland forests provide. But up to 80% of wetland forests in the US South have disappeared. What are our standing wetland forests worth? Let’s be sure we invest in our wetland forests. (From  Worldwide, we must protect our wetlands.

Southern tip of Lake Havasu and incoming Williams River and its wetlands, Arizona

To learn more about World Wetlands day visit

All photos © Alison M. Jones.