Celebrate American Wetlands Month: Explore! Learn! Take Action!

This May marks the 24th anniversary of American Wetlands Month, a time when federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector organizations celebrate the importance of wetlands. The month long recognition provides a great opportunity to discover and learn about the important role and benefits wetlands provide — improved water quality, increased water storage and supply, reduced flood and storm surge risk, and critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife.

Learn about wetlands. Wetlands occur in all corners of Oregon and are among the most biologically productive and species-rich habitats in the state. Coastal salt marshes, pitcher-plant bogs, mountain fens, valley bottom vernal pools, wet prairies, spruce swamps and desert saltgrass flats are a small sampling of the diversity of wetland types in Oregon. Visit  http://wetlandsconservancy.org/about-us/why-wetlands/ to learn more about the benefits provided by wetlands.

Oregon’s wetlands are as diverse as its landscape. Some times of the year they don’t look wet at all!!!  Below are four wetland types found in Oregon:

CoastalFenDarlingtonia

Fen with pitcher plants—Coastal Curry County, OR– Photo taken by John A. Christy

Yaquina-Poole Slough Estuary–Coastal Tillamook County, OR–Photo taken by Shannon Spence

VernalPoolCycles2

A vernal pool through the seasons—Jackson County, OR–Photo taken by USFWS

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Wet Meadow—Gordon Meadows, Linn County, OR– Photo taken by Tanya Harvey

Things that you can do to celebrate National Wetlands Month

Explore a wetland near you. Grab your rubber boots, binoculars, cameras, canoes or kayaks and discover a local wetland. Visit http://wetlandsconservancy.org/conservation/oregons-greatest-wetlands/ to find the closest Oregon’s Greatest Wetland near you.

Take Action to protect and restore a wetland

Visit http://wetlandsconservancy.org/volunteer-with-the-wetlands-conservancy/to learn about upcoming volunteer activities.

Volunteer with a local watershed or conservation group to protect, restore, and monitor a local wetland or stream area. Work with a community group, youth group or school to identify a local wetland that could be restored to its natural condition.

Plant native vegetation in your yard and limit your use of fertilizers and pesticides which can pollute nearby waterways.

Use non-toxic products in your home, lawn and garden. Phosphate-free laundry and dishwasher detergents help curb algae blooms which suffocate aquatic life.

 Whatever you do to celebrate wetlands this May, thank you for joining us for National Wetlands Month!

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