February 2nd is World Wetlands Day.
The Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (BCER), also known as the Bolsa Chica Wetlands, was initially formed to protect the wetland habitat at Bolsa Chica. Later on, the upland habitats were saved and incorporated into the Reserve boundaries. 95% of coastal California wetlands are gone, making BCER even more important for wildlife, migrating birds, humans, and the planet as a whole in fighting the effects of Climate Change and sea-level rise.
Wetlands are important habitat for local wildlife, migrating wildlife, and even endemic and endangered species. There are over 23 listed species at Bolsa Chica. Over 200 species of birds call Bolsa Chica home some or all of the year. The bays and muted tidal basin serve as nurseries for fish and other aquatic life. Wetlands are also important for humans. They act as water purifiers (especially important for freshwater wetlands), flood and erosion protection, carbon sinks, and a place to restore one’s mind and body. Globally, wetlands are important economic resources too.
The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.
They created this educational poster on wetlands and water and a webpage about the importance of wetlands.
We obviously believe Bolsa Chica is worth preserving and restoring to a sustainable healthy ecosystem. If wetlands aren’t healthy, they can’t perform their many important functions like water purification, flood mitigation, wildlife habitat, and so much more. That’s why there is still much to do at Bolsa Chica. The wetland habitat might be saved, but there is still a lot of work to do to preserve, restore, and maintain the health of the habitat with the constant threats of pollution, climate change, and sea-level rise. Join Us!
If you want to learn more about wetlands in Southern California in general, visit the Southern California Wetlands Recovery Program
Photo: Roy Holden