BCWF’S Wetland Education Program

Media release from the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF):

BC’s oldest and largest conservation organization, is excited to bring the Wetlands Institute to Kamloops, BC from June 21st – 27th, 2009.

The Wetlands Institute is one element of the BCWF’S Wetland Education Program (WEP). WEP’s mission is “to deliver quality wetland education, develop the capacity of individual communities to assess their wetlands, and to encourage these individuals to use their new-found skills and knowledge to conserve or restore wetland ecosystems”.

The Wetlands Institute is WEP’s foremost event and takes place every other year in a different host community around the province. The demand for the Institute to occur in Kamloops is overwhelming and BCWF is committed to providing a high quality WEP Institute.

The purpose of the 2009 Wetlands Institute Kamloops is to work intensively with the community to build wetland conservation projects. Participants will emerge from the Institute with an excellent set of wetland skills and a clear project plan to steward a wetland at home. 

Next year’s Institute will have a particular focus on changes in our wetlands. These changes may come from climate change, pests, natural water level fluctuations, cattle grazing and off-road vehicle impacts. The 2009 Institute will touch on all these aspects of change, facilitating dialogue and education and will seek to help participants find ethical ways to mitigate changes in our wetlands.

Consultations for wetland sites during the 2009 Wetlands Institute Kamloops are currently underway with local developers, non-profits, government agencies, landowners and First Nations.

BC’s wetlands continue to be filled in or altered, disrupting their functions and affecting their ability to act in properly functioning conditions.  Wetlands play an essential role in helping to minimize or remediate environmental problems by storing flood waters, maintaining stream flows, reducing erosion, absorbing pollutants, recharging groundwater and providing critical species habitat. The Wetlands Institute seeks to educate individuals and organizations about wetlands and conserve wetlands for future generations. 

Stewardship coordinators, city planners, teachers, First Nations, ministry and municipality staff, NGO staff, business leaders, university students and youth working in the environmental field from around North America are all invited to attend the seven-day Wetlands Institute.

This intensive field experience will teach participants how to conduct wetland restoration, construction, and stewardship projects in the community of Kamloops, enabling participants to share the learning in their home communities. Participants will leave with the necessary skills to address wetland issues and with the knowledge to help maintain wetland habitat across North America.

To apply, please provide a brief outline of a wetland project you would like to implement in your community to:

 

Carolyn Anne Budgell, BCWF’S Wetlands Coordinator

wetlands@bcwf.bc.ca

604 970 9707

 

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