This World Water Day, the B.C. Wildlife Federation launches the Wetlands Workforce project, a year–long initiative to improve the function of British Columbia’s wetlands. The Workforce is a collaboration with conservation organizations and First Nations that will deploy work-pods throughout 2021. These work-pods will maintain and monitor at least 70 wetlands across the province.
Visit the new website at wetlandsworkforce.ca
The Wetlands Workforce is supported through the Healthy Watersheds Initiative, which is delivered by the Real Estate Foundation of BC and Watersheds BC, with financial support from the Province of British Columbia as part of its $10 billion COVID-19 response.
Neil Fletcher, BCWF Director of Conservation Stewardship, said, “Over the course of the year, at least 70 wetlands will receive some much-needed care, while monitoring and data collection at these sites will allow us to determine the effectiveness of restoration techniques.”
The Wetlands Workforce work-pods will be deployed to:
- Maintain Native Species – Restore riparian area habitat and stabilize shorelines at previously restored wetlands by managing weeds, protecting trees, and planting native species.
- Monitor Wetland Effectiveness – By collecting data at these wetlands through bird and amphibian monitoring, wildlife monitoring, and water quality testing, the work-pods will be supporting province–wide monitoring initiatives that will improve future wetland management.
- Develop a Wetlands Ecosystem Services Protocol (WESP) – Helping the BCWF with the development of a WESP tool in several regions of British Columbia. With this tool, we are better able to assess the effectiveness of wetland restoration and enhancement projects.
Additionally, the project is supporting over 100 jobs with an emphasis on hiring women, young adults and Indigenous persons. Over the course of the year, the program will be engaging with local First Nations to build a new network for shared learnings on wetland health.
“Not only are we able to provide meaningful employment around the province, but we are helping to address critical conservation actions that are too often under-resourced,” Fletcher said. “This funding provides a positive opportunity to advance reconciliation among Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and jump-start an economy that fully integrates restoration and conservation into the future.”
To learn more about the Wetlands Workforce project and follow wetlands work over the year, visit www.wetlandsworkforce.ca.