World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2 February to raise awareness on the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
Wetlands are important natural tools that combat floods, droughts and other extreme weather events, says Taranaki Regional Council Director – Operations, Daniel Harrison.
Wetlands, which are where the water table is near the land’s surface, or where land is permanently or temporarily covered by water, are among the world's most productive and valuable ecosystems and have not always been valued – despite the many benefits to water quality and biodiversity, he says.
"Wetland loss has mounted over the past 150 years; however, we're seeing more and more forward-thinking individuals, community groups, schools, landowners and organisations working and exploring how to restore these valuable ecosystems across Taranaki.
"Wetlands offer major benefits to our environment like storing carbon, capturing sediment and run-off, removing nitrogen, reducing flooding and increasing biodiversity."
New government regulations provide better protection for wetlands and World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on 2 February to raise awareness on the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.
The new rules help increase public knowledge and appreciation of wetlands, and ensure landowners and government agencies commit to restoring and protecting wetlands, says Mr Harrison.
"Wetland restoration projects are currently underway all over Taranaki – from initiatives like the constructed wetland programme in Awatuna to filter farm run-off, to small-scale projects on private land undertaken by community groups and individual landowners."
Whether large or small, all wetland restoration projects call for good planning. Mr Harrison encourages people to contact the Council for advice about restoration planning, management, weed and pest control, native plant growing, revegetation, and reviewing potential funding eligibility.
“Together, we can continue making progress on conserving the wetlands across Taranaki that are not only an important part of the solution to support better climate and water quality outcomes, but also home to a diverse range of native birds, plants and insects.”
If you have a wetland you are interested in restoring and protecting, contact us on 0800 736 222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org(external link).