Earlier this month, Okanagan Similkameen Stewardship received a grant of $39,400 from the National Wetland Conservation Fund- new funding under the National Conservation Plan of Environment Canada. This grant will facilitate wetland monitoring and enhancement on private lands throughout the Okanagan and Similkameen valley.
Wetlands are very important habitats. Wetlands provide a home to over 600 species of wildlife including many species of waterfowl and amphibians at risk like the Great Basin Spadefoot and Blotched Tiger Salamander. Wetlands provide important ecological and environmental benefits and contribute to us having clean water in our valley.
A wetland is any area of land that has either open water or areas of wet spongy soil. These may only be present for part of the year as many wetlands in the Okanagan are seasonal. Types of wetlands include shallow ponds, swamps, bogs, fens, marshes, and even wet meadows.
You may have a wetland on your property if you have
-Soft or soggy ground
-Seeps or springs
-Depressions that periodically fill with water
-Depressions that have different vegetation than upland areas
-Areas that you ditch to dry out
-Areas where equipment gets stuck
-Crop stress related to excess moisture
Wetland habitats at risk
A staggering 85% of wetlands in the Okanagan have been lost. Wetlands can act as a sponge helping to absorb excess water from storms and snow melt and then releasing it slowly once conditions dry out. This can help reduce flooding risk, on your property and downstream. Wetlands also act as natural filters cleaning water before it returns to our rivers and lakes.
Get involved!If you would like to be more information or to become a land steward please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.