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World Wetlands Day 

World Wetlands Day (WWD) is celebrated every year on February 2 to raise global awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the planet. This day marks the date the Convention on Wetlands was formed in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea, back in 1971. This year's theme is Wetlands for a sustainable urban future: urban wetlands making cities livable. Urban wetlands make cities liveable in many important ways. They reduce flooding, replenish drinking water, filter waste, provide urban green spaces and are a source of livelihoods. These wetland benefits grow ever more crucial as the number of people living in cities has now passed the 4 billion mark and continues to rise. By 2050, 66% of humanity will live in cities, as people move into urban areas searching for better jobs. Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the value and importance of urban wetlands. In fast-growing cities, wetlands are often viewed as wasteland; places to dump rubbish, fill in or convert to other uses. Scientists estimate that at least 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900, while in parallel, cities have exploded in growth. World Wetlands Day 2018 aims to raise awareness about how urban wetlands contribute to the future of sustainable cities.

Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided free educational and promotional material to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. To celebrate this special day, Ramsar also provides a calendar of events from around the world. Individuals and organizations are encouraged to share their events on this calendar. Check out Ramsar's www.worldwetlandsday.org for all educational resources and a complete listing of WWD events.

SWS WWD Activities

Celebrate World Wetlands Day with these SWS-sponsored activities: 

  • SWS Photo Contest Winners
    Congratulations to all winners and thank you to everyone who submitted photos in this year's contest! 

    Grand prize: A one-year membership to SWS, including one complimentary section membership and one conference registration to the 2018 SWS Annual Meeting.

    DeDinaMark GrandPrizewinner

    Floating Islands in Dubuque, Iowa by Mark DeDina at Lower Bee Branch in Dubuque, Iowa

    1st place in each category: A one-year membership to SWS, including one complimentary section membership.

    • International Wetlands
      Photographs that support this year’s objective to make SWS an effective international scientific society with a global reach. This category excludes photos of U.S. wetlands.

    LeckMaryAllessio 1stplaceInternational

    Mt. Wellington Preserve, a World Heritage site by Mary Allessio Leck in Hobart, Tasmania

    • Wetland Wildlife
      Photographs of plants or wildlife that support the Wildlife Section’s focus on wetland habitat and wildlife. 

    FilickyKyle 1stplaceWildlife

    Sundew Snack by Kyle Filicky in Kent Bog State Nature Preserve, Kent, Ohio

    • Wetland Restoration
      Photographs that advance research and application in restoration fields that regulate wetlands. In this context, wetland restoration is defined in the broadest sense, including wetland reclamation, rehabilitation, and mitigation; issues related to wetland restoration national/international perspectives.

    LynnLorene 1stpaceWetlandRestoration

    Cottongrass in the Arctic Oilfields by Lorene Lynn at Prudhoe Bay Oilfield in North Slope, Alaska

    The winners were determined by SWS membership via an electronic vote. Thank you to everyone who voted! 

  • Watch SWS webinars
    With World Wetlands Day's focus on raising global awareness about the value of wetlands, what better way to celebrate than by catching up on SWS webinars! Our webinar series aims to educate its viewers on various wetland science topics. All webinar recordings are complimentary for SWS members. Free webinar recordings are available to the public on the SWS YouTube channel! SWS supporters and wetland enthusiasts from around the world can watch these webinars with subtitles in their native language. To view the webinars with subtitles, click the “CC” button in the bottom, right-hand corner of the video. You can change the language of the subtitles by clicking on the settings button in the bottom, right-hand corner and going to subtitles/CC > auto-translate > and choosing the language of your choice.

  • Learn more about the SWS New Media Initiative
    In line with the focus of World Wetlands Day, the SWS mission is to promote understanding, conservation, protection, restoration, science-based management and sustainability of wetlands. The SWS New Media Team launched the SWS YouTube channel to share our mission with a wider audience. To help us with this initiative, we ask for members and non-members alike to share their work and experiences by submitting a video to be featured on our YouTube channel! Featured videos will showcase various wetland topics that help to further our mission. Visit the New Media Initiative page to learn more and to submit a video! 

  • Submit wetland to SWS Wetlands of Distinction
    The SWS Wetlands of Distinction initiative showcases high-quality wetlands, those with exemplary ecosystem services, across the United States (and in the future, around the world). We are seeking applications for wetlands that have already been deemed as special, rare, and/or unique by state agencies or organizations. Wetlands of Distinction goals include:

    (1) Increasing public awareness and appreciation of wetlands and their many human and environmental benefits
    (2) Identifying and cataloging high-quality wetlands, wetlands of high human-environmental importance and unique wetlands
    (3) Engaging the public including academics, educators, outdoor enthusiasts and others in wetland science and geography, using the interactive Wetlands of Distinction website: www.wetlandsofdistinction.org
    (4) Creating a national, high-quality, wetland database that includes site-specific information about wetland ecosystem services, ecology, biology, soils, conservation status and accessibility
    (5) Increasing protection of our most important and distinctive wetlands and, in turn, protection of common wetlands

    If you have comments or suggestions about the application form or process, please feel free to provide feedback by emailing us at swswetlandsofdistinction@gmail.com.

  • Participate in the SWS-NCC WWD Facebook Photo Contest
    Celebrate World Wetlands Day by participating in the NCC photo contest on Facebook! Here's how to enter:
    (1) "Like" the NCC Facebook page
    (2) Post a picture on our Facebook page of you wearing your best wetlands field gear and/or wetlands-related t-shirt. Make sure to use hashtag #worldwetlandsday when uploading your photo
    (3) Vote for your favorite photos by "liking" them.

    The photo that receives the most "likes" by February 12, 2018, will receive a gift card! Creativity is strongly encouraged! Please post as many pictures as you would like, and encourage your colleagues to post and "like" photos too. Since the winner will be determined by the number of "likes" a photo receives, posting early will give you a better chance of winning. Questions? Contact Jessica Ackerman.

Do you have an SWS event that you're holding for World Wetlands Day? Let us know by emailing us at membership@sws.org and we'll add your event to our listing!

WWD2018 infographic

Love this infographic? Check out more free educational material on www.worldwetlandsday.org

News - WWN


  • World’s Leading Aquatic Scientific Societies Urgently Call for Cuts to Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Pacific Northwest Chapter President Josh Wozniak authors article on the importance of wetlands for Salish Magazine
  • WOTUS Rulings

Read More!

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