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Great Lakes Article:

Ontario Travel to World Wetlands Day north of Toronto at Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre
Posted January 16, 2008

What is World Wetlands Day?

February 2nd each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands, in 1971, which occurred in the Iranian city of Ramsar. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general and the Ramsar Convention in particular to the Georgian Bay area.

Laurie Schutt Executive Director at Wye Marsh states, 'Every resident in the Georgian Bay area is aware of the decline of water levels along the shorelines. Events like World Wetland Day helps us reassess a 'take for granted attitude- that water will always be here for human use.- The Georgian Bay Association has been focused on the loss of water levels, not just in Georgian Bay, but all of the Great Lakes. Schutt adds, 'Many areas of the world are losing their freshwater resource'.. we can help provide a greater awareness about wetlands and their importance to Georgian Bay's fresh water supply.-

Topics to be covered during World Wetlands Day include:

Water availability: If water is extracted more rapidly than it is naturally replenished, wetland ecosystems will, in extreme cases, collapse, with a complete loss of ecosystem services. The effect of such extreme cases is costly in terms of human health, erosion, and poor water quality for drinking and other purposes.

Wetland food: Adequate, good quality food is a prerequisite for healthy people, and wetlands are key contributors to the food supply of fresh water fish and the recreational tourism industry in the Georgian Bay area.
Clean water: Inland wetlands (rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes, etc.) perform a vital function in filtering and purifying freshwater, rendering it 'clean' for possible human consumption.

Water pollution: Despite the capacity of freshwater wetlands in purifying water, they do have their limits. They can only deal with so much agricultural runoff, so much inflow from domestic and industrial wastes resulting from landfill runoff.
Floods: Floods and storms have affected human lives since the beginning of civilization, but all types of floods. Major marshes slow down and retain floodwaters.

The complete days itinerary is available at
Individuals wishing to research more information on World Wetlands Day can visit

For more information contact the Wye Marsh at 705-526-7809 or

Editors' Notes:

Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre is located 35 minutes northwest of Barrie Ontario in the heart of Southern Georgian Bay's Historic Resort Destination in the Wye Valley, in Midland Ontario. The Centre continues to provide outdoor experiences and environmental education for school groups, Scouts and Guides, and international visitors. The centre is open year round, seven days a week, allowing seasonal outdoor experiences in the winter, spring, summer and fall.
For additional information contact Laurie Schutt, Executive Director
at (705) 526-7809.

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