Today the BCWF Wetlands Education Program (WEP) Team is celebrating a big win! A restoration project completed in Meadow Creek, in the Lardeau Valley at the north end of Kootenay Lake, is now home for a family of Sandhill Cranes, a species listed as “vulnerable” by the Province of BC. This last phase of the project was completed in the Spring of 2016. The area is an important corridor for elk and grizzly bear, and provides great habitat for many wetland associated species, such as Western Toad, Bobolink, and most now the Sandhill Crane! This is the first time that Sandhill Cranes have ever been observed in this part of the region, signifying just how important wetland restoration work is!
The WEP team has been involved in numerous restoration projects across the province. In 2017 alone, the team completed 7 restoration projects, resulting in 9.75 hectares of restored land. Each year the capacity for restoration work increases, and we are very hopeful to keep this momentum running throughout 2018.
Habitat restoration is an extremely important piece to wetland conservation and overall ecosystem health. From maintaining water flow during flood and droughts, to providing critical habitat for many plants and animals, wetlands offer a tremendous amount of different functions that benefit the planet. They are often known as “the kidneys of the Earth”, based on their incredible ability to clean and filter water as it flows through them. Not to mention BC’s wetlands are worth over $100 billion/year!
If that isn’t a reason to conserve wetlands, then I don’t know what is.
The WEP team is dedicated to continuing to conserve wetlands through restoration and education projects throughout the province. If you are interested in learning more about the programs that we offer, please click here.
Thank you to Michele Halleran, property owner of the restoration site, for the beautiful photos. Additionally, a special thanks to our funders: Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Wildlife Habitat Canada, and Environment and Climate Change Canada, for making this project a reality.