Date: 31 January 2013
Wetlands play a vital role in regulating water quality and volume as it flows from the mountains to the sea. World Wetlands Day is this Saturday, 2 February 2013. It’s a time to celebrate the importance of wetlands and their role in taking care of our water.
It is easy to take access to plenty of clean water for granted, especially here in Southland. Wetlands were once considered a nuisance on our landscape – areas to be tamed and drained. However, we are now much more aware of the role wetlands play.
In 1971, the value of wetlands around the world was formally recognised at the signing of a Wetland Convention in the Iranian town of Ramsar.
Wetlands of international importance are called ‘Ramsar’ sites. By 2012 there were 2,062 Ramsar wetlands in 163 countries covering more than 197 million hectares.
Here in Southland we are fortunate to have the Awarua Wetland located only 40 minutes south-east of Invercargill. It is one of six Ramsar sites in New Zealand and the only one located south of Farewell Spit. Awarua Wetland is also part of DOC’s Arawai Kākāriki wetland restoration programme, which aims to find out more about how wetlands work and how we can best look after them.
Covering 19,500 ha, Awarua Wetlands is a haven for wildlife. The area is home to several kinds of native fish, many different wetland birds, and some interesting plants including carnivorous sundews and colourful orchids.
Why not get to know this fascinating place right here in our backyard? Take the family and enjoy the wonders of Waituna Lagoon. You’ll find a carpark and access to family-friendly walks at the end of Waghorns Road. From here, stroll along the boardwalk to the viewing shelter and information panels, overlooking the lagoon. Don’t forget to take your binoculars! The Waituna Wetlands Loop Track is a recent addition. It is well gravelled and family friendly.
World Wetland Day Celebration Workshop – Wednesday 20 February
Waituna Landcare Group and NZ Landcare Trust invite you to learn more about wetlands and how to look after them at our World Wetlands Day Celebration Workshop.
We’ll be introducing WETMAK - a wetland monitoring kit developed by NZ Landcare Trust. It’s designed to help you understand the condition of your wetland and ways you can monitor/improve it. We’ll also be offering a guided walk along the Waituna Wetlands Loop Track.
Join us for the workshop and guided walk on Wednesday 20 February 2013, located at the Gravel Pit, corner Waituna Lagoon Rd and Hanson Rd.
Numbers are limited so bookings are essential.
For more information and bookings contact:
- Janet Gregory. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: +64 3 2087883
- Gay Munro. Email: email@example.com, phone: +64 3 2395 827
- Ramsar website has details about the Ramsar Convention, World Wetlands Day, and latest news.
- Lamsar Trust website has details about WETMAK.
- Waituna Landcare Trust
- Arawai Kakariki Wetland Restoration Programme
- Awarua Wetland complex
Project Co-ordinator – Awarua Wetland
Phone: +64 3 211 2480 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org