Why care about wetlands or watersheds?

Seen in image above: Chris Critoph, an Ottawa based environmentalist and naturalist. Courtesy photo

CORNWALL Why should we care about wetlands? Quite simply – wetlands are vital for human survival. On Wednesday, November 7, Chris Critoph, an Ottawa based environmentalist and naturalist with over four decades of experience working with woodlots, wetlands, and watersheds will speak on the importance of protecting our local wetlands. They are among the world’s most productive environments; cradles of biological diversity that provide the water and productivity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival.  

Areas in our own backyard such as Cooper Marsh and the Snye wetlands of Akwesasne are indispensable for the countless ecosystem benefits that they provide, ranging from freshwater supply, food and biodiversity, to flood control, groundwater recharge, and climate change mitigation.

Yet study after study demonstrates that wetland area and quality continue to decline in most regions of the world including along the St. Lawrence River.  As a result, the ecosystem services that wetlands provide to all of us are compromised.

Managing wetlands is a global challenge and one that Chris has spent several decades tackling in in both his professional and personal life.  Also a civil engineer, Chris has spent many of those years combining his passion for nature and his technical skills to protect and repair fish and wildlife habitat, rehabilitate shorelines, and restore wetlands.  In this part of the world he has worked in key roles with both South Nation and Raisin Region Conservation.

In this Science and Nature on Tap session attendees are invited to join Chris as he reflects on his life’s work in and around the St. Lawrence River watershed. Explore the marshes and coastal wetlands that make the Great River great and learn what we all can do to protect wetlands and in turn all of elements that make them so important.

This free session hosted by the River Institute is open to the general public and will be held at Schnitzel’s European Flavours in Cornwall on Wednesday, November 7 at 7 p.m. For more information contact the program coordinator at (613) 936-6620 (229) or e-mail Karen Cooper at kcooper@riverinstitute.ca. or  visit: www.riverinstitute.ca.

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