Three organizations that are protecting Canada’s wetlands
By Jessie Reynolds
January 30, 2024
It’s World Wetlands Day, a chance to come together in appreciation and action for wetlands around the globe. Wetlands are vital to our collective well-being, providing clean water, clean air, and a home for 40% of the world’s species. Wetlands can store 50 times more carbon than rainforests, making them essential ecosystems for fighting climate change.
This World Wetlands Day, we are featuring three organizations that are monitoring and protecting Canada’s wetlands. These organizations all upload their water quality data to DataStream, making it free and accessible for anyone to view. Be sure to check them out!
Ducks Unlimited Canada
Ducks Unlimited Canada has been championing wetland conservation for 85 years, working on projects that address water pollution, climate change, and species conservation, among many others.
One of their projects involved creating best management practices for wetland road crossings. When roads are built in wetlands, it impacts natural water movement and species like frogs, turtles, and salamanders. Ducks Unlimited has created a guide on what to expect regarding water movement when roads are built, which can be used when planning, building, monitoring, or decommissioning a wetland crossing. To test the effectiveness of their best management practices, Ducks Unlimited collected water quality data throughout various sites in the Duck and Porcupine Mountains in Manitoba and the Pasquia Hills in Saskatchewan. Check out Ducks Unlimited's data on DataStream!
Fathom Five National Marine Park is a conservation area in Georgian Bay, Ontario, that features diverse freshwater ecosystems, including rocky coastal wetlands rich in biological diversity. The park is famous for its Flowerpot Island rock formations, scuba diving on shipwrecks, and iconic species like eels, fish, shellfish and amphibians. To inform the protection of these wetlands, Parks Canada monitors trends in water quality data, sampling for nutrients, major ions, and metals at twelve coastal wetland sites. Explore and visualize Parks Canada's data on DataStream!
Royal Botanical Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens (RBG) is Canada’s largest collection of gardens spanning throughout Hamilton and Burlington, Ontario.
Within these gardens are the Cootes Paradise Marsh and the Grindstone Marsh, two important wetlands that together receive water from 26 different streams. The health of these marshes reflects the conditions of upstream communities. Because the marshes are Great Lakes Areas of Concern, RBC continuously assesses the health of these wetlands by collecting water quality data. Thanks to concerted actions and rigorous data collection, water quality in the marshes has improved over the years, with some interior regions even reporting excellent water quality according to federal water quality guidelines. Check out RBG's data going all the way back to the year 2000!
When it comes to protecting wetlands, the more information we have, the better. Find free and open access water quality data collected from wetlands across Canada on any of DataStream’s hub sites. And, for more information about how you can help protect wetlands, check out https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/.
About the Author
Jessie joined The Gordon Foundation in 2022 as Communications Coordinator. Jessie completed her MSc in Biology at Queen’s University and her BScH in Biology and English Literature at Queen’s University. Jessie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
In watersheds across Canada, temperatures are rising, rainfall patterns are shifting, and storms are hitting harder and more frequently. We’re seeing more droughts, floods, runoff and algal blooms. And the pace of climate change just keeps accelerating.