Wetlands for our future

Elizabeth Marenzi —  02/02/2015

It seems everything has its day. Yesterday was Baked Alaska Day, Decorating with Candy Day, Serpent Day, Car Insurance Day

Today is Crêpe Day, World Play Your Ukulele DayGroundhog Day and…

World Wetlands Day!

Ben Avon wetland, Ahuriri Conservation Park. Photo: Joy Comrie.

Ben Avon wetland, Ahuriri Conservation Park

And, while we love strumming those four strings, eating crispy, thin, pancakes, and contemplating the weather, they simply can’t compare to our lakes, swamps, fens, bogs, marshes, pakihis, lagoons, estuaries…

World Wetlands Day 2015.

Why? You ask. Surely delicious treats, catchy music and the promise of warmth and sunshine, beat bogs any day.

Well, my friend. You underestimate the power of the wetland. Let me enlighten you.

Ō Tū Wharekai  (Ashburton lakes/upper Rangitata River, Canterbury.

Ō Tū Wharekai

For a start, did you know wetlands are among the world’s most productive environments?

Yes, while you’re choosing between lemon and sugar or nuttella for your carb loaded circle of guilt, wetlands are busy filtering and replenishing our water, providing food, acting as a natural shield to protect our coastlines and helping to mitigate climate change.

Te Waihou Springs, Rotorua. Photo: Adrienne Grant.

Te Waihou Springs, Rotorua

And, talking about the weather, how many bottles of water are you consuming on these hot days? Where do you think that water comes from? Wetlands provide the fresh water for all our needs, whether it be for drinking, cooking or cleaning.

Birds at Miranda, Firth of Thames.

Birds at Miranda, Firth of Thames.

The future of humanity depends on wetlands—it’s a big statement, but it’s true.

And yet, half of the world’s wetlands have disappeared in the last century.

So whaddya do?

Get involved

Visit a wetland in your region. Find out who looks after the site and ask what kind of help they could use.

Visiting Ōtukaikino Wetland, Canterbury

Visiting Ōtukaikino Wetland, Canterbury

Organise a wetlands clean-up. In populated areas, wetlands can attract rubbish. Together, a clean-up can be achieved in a few hours. Take pictures before and after to highlight the difference.

Rakatu Wetlands, Southland.

Rakatu Wetlands, Southland

Enter the international 2015 Wetlands Youth Photo Contest (the chance to win a free flight to a famous wetland of your choice, anywhere in the world, yes please!).

Enter the 2015 World Wetlands Day photo competition.

Enter the 2015 World Wetlands Day Youth photo competition

Spread the word about wetlands and their vital importance for future life on earth.

DOC ranger talking to children at a wetland.

We’re spreading the word about wetlands

Wetlands for our future—Te tirohanga ā mua mō ngā māria. Shout it out. Crêpes just can’t compare.

Elizabeth Marenzi


Elizabeth is part of the communications team at DOC. She enjoys reconnecting the urban desk jockeys of the world with nature—believing it to be the best anecdote for “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people.”

3 responses to Wetlands for our future


    Beautiful images!

    janet taiatini 12/02/2015 at 2:05 pm

    What would be involved for me to learn about the wetland role (a bit more than generalised) to teach our kids.


    Fantastic little write up. Will share to hopefully help spread the word!