Feb. 2 is World Wetlands Day

This year marks the 56th anniversary of World Wetlands Day, Feb. 2, which calls attention to their value and status. Wetlands are areas of soil that are covered by water and may support both plant and animal communities.

According to the Ramsar Convention that established World Wetlands Day, “Wetlands are indispensable for the countless benefits or ‘ecosystem services’ that they provide humanity, ranging from freshwater supply, food and building materials, and biodiversity, to flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.”

The Orange County Water District owns 2,150 acres behind Prado Dam in Riverside County where it operates the Prado Wetlands, the largest constructed wetlands on the west coast of the United States. The wetlands naturally remove nitrates and other contaminants from Santa Ana River flows—allowing OCWD to improve water quality beyond regulatory requirements. By taking this proactive and innovative approach, OCWD improves groundwater quality, enhances the environment and minimizes treatment costs.

The Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. For additional information and outreach material to support activities to celebrate World Wetlands Day 2017 and raise awareness about the importance of wetlands for humanity, please visit the Ramsar.org website. Please visit OCWD’s website for more information about its Prado Wetlands.