Celebrating the Wonderful World of Wetlands

Occurring on 2 February each year, World Wetlands Day commemorates the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands! This, in turn, was adopted as a means of highlighting the importance of wetlands to our global ecosystem and the need to conserve them in the face of increasing threats.

This year was another opportunity to draw attention to the Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh communities at the Greenough and Chapman River estuaries through guided educational walks. This community is considered threatened in Australia due to threats such as urban development, weed invasion, and squished wetlands plants by unmanaged pedestrian and vehicle access.

Saturday 3 February saw Greenough River Friends, Birdlife Midwest, and NACC NRM joined by ten locals for a walk and talk along this estuary, located on the south side of Geraldton. The following day, a crowd of around 20 people braved a chilly wind at Chapman River estuary, this time joined by Chapman River Friends, Birdlife Midwest, and NACC NRM.

The early risers at both events saw plenty of shorebirds tucking into breakfast in amongst the saltmarsh vegetation along the banks. Apart from their importance as food sources for these birds and other animals such as fish, these coastal saltmarshes play vital roles in capturing atmospheric carbon and water-borne sediment, preventing erosion and just being great places to be around.

Throughout the month of February, the Geraldton Regional Library showcased ‘Our Estuaries’, a photo exhibition celebrating the diverse bird life of the Chapman and Greenough River estuaries! The photographs on display were captured by talented local artists, and adorned the walls of the library for the community to admire. If you missed out this year, keep an eye out for next year!

A big thank you to Birdlife WA, the City of Greater Geraldton, ATLAS – Access to Leisure and Sport, Chapman River Friends, and Greenough River Friends for your involvement and support.

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