World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997. Since then actions have been taken to raise public awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetlands. But what are wetlands?
There are many definitions for wetlands, but when the DNM talks about wetlands, they refer to the areas like bays, marsh or water depots, artificially or naturally filled with water and mud, with standing water or running water, permanently or seasonally flooded with fresh, brackish or salt water.
In Aruba we know many types of wetlands:
- the Saliña in Malmok;
- Saliña in Savaneta;
- Bubali Plas;
- Isla di Oro;
- Santo Largo;
- Mangel Halto;
- Spaans Lagoen;
The last 4 on the list are protected by the National Park of Aruba. Each one of these wetlands has their own unique ecologic aspects and provide a variety of ecologic functions.
Why are wetlands important?
- Water purification. Wetlands protect water quality by trapping sediments and retaining excess nutrients and other pollutants.
- They protect the coast from possible natural disasters, like hurricanes, tsunamis, and flooding caused by big waves during windy days.
- They help stabilize gas emissions that accumulate heat (greenhouse gasses)
- They retain excessive amounts of rain during heavy downpours.
Over 40% of species live in or depend of wetlands to reproduce but they also serve as recreational areas for humans enjoying nature with all the added health benefits.
Considering the import role of the wetlands, it is essential to preserve the wetlands, to keep them clean, to help educate the children and to protect and use them in a responsible and sustainable way without exploiting them.
Visit any of the wetlands and share your photos on social media including the hashtags:
#Sdg9 (Innovation and Infrastructure)
#Sdg11 (Sustainable cities and communities)
#Sdg13 (Climate action)
#Sdg14 (Life below water)
#Sdg15 (Life on Land)