We are starting off the new year with a photo of the week that features wetland exploration & education. Submitted to The Wetlands of British Columbia photo group by Steven Orr, this image embodies the breathtaking expanse of the Columbia Valley Wetlands by comparing it to the human scale of the hikers trailing down hill.
The Columbia Valley Wetlands pictured in Steven Orr’s photograph run along the Rocky Mountain Trench of the Kootenays. They are a particularly special feature to both the British Columbia & North American landscape as they are the longest continuous wetlands remaining on our continent. This makes them an important component to the pacific flyway. The wetland corridor consists of marshes, ponds, swamps & riparian habitat. It supports a great deal of wildlife including several species of concern, including the Painted Turtle, Northern Leopard Frog, White Sturgeon, Prairie Falcon & Short-eared Owl. Along the floodplain, many emergent plant species can be found, such as Hardstem Bulrush, Cattail, Horsetail. These plants help to reduce the amount of toxins and sediment found in the Columbia River. Beyond habitat and water purification, the Wetland is vital in slowing the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Our photographer, Steven Orr, gives this description with his photograph:
“Students and teachers from the school in Canal Flats, British Columbia, are here exploring the Columbia Valley Wetlands to learn about them. [He quotes the following information] The Columbia Valley Wetlands covers an area from Canal Flats to Donald and is the longest continuous wetlands remaining on the continent. It covers 26,000 hectares (64,000 acres) and supports over 260 resident and migratory bird species.”
We congratulate Steven on his capture of wetland education in our large and valuable BC gem! It is now featured in the BC Wetland Photo of the Week Gallery.