Celebrate World Wetlands Day 2 February 2017

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Join Dublin City Council and Coastwatch Ireland to celebrate RAMSAR International World Wetlands Day. Young people (Age 15 to 25 ) are also invited to take photos at wetland sites and to submit them to RAMSAR with a chance to win a visit to an international RAMSAR site. RAMSAR PHOTO COMPETITION .

You can learn more about Wetlands by visiting an interactive display at the Atrium Civic Offices from February 2nd – February 18th, Monday-Friday (9am-5pm). The results of the 2016 Annual Coastwatch Survey will be on display along with information on RAMSAR Wetlands. Photographs of North Bull Island by photographic wildlife enthusiasts from the Celbridge Camera Club will also be on display along with the story of the iconic migratory Brent Goose. View the work of local BT Young Scientists from Gonzaga College on their study of the Brent Geese of Sandymount Stand. See how school children from St Louise’s Junior School Ballyfermot, St Malachy’s Raheny and St Joseph CBS Primary School Fairview became Brent Goose Ambassadors for the Dublin Bay Biosphere.. Free information, biodiversity identification guides to take home. See how you can get involved in taking action to protect our city’s wetlands.

Wetlands are areas saturated by water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, static or flowing, fresh, brackish, or marine. Wetland habitat types in Ireland are typically marsh, swamp, bog, fen, turlough, lagoons, salt marshes, estuaries and wet woodlands.

Worldwide wetlands ensure humanity has fresh water, they purify harmful waste from water, they provide a food source mainly in terms of fish and rice for billions of people and many livelihoods are dependent on them especially in developing countries.

Wetlands are bursting with biodiversity and provide a refuge for wildlife. Wetlands are places to play and visit and are key sites for tourism water sports, fishing and nature exploration. A future without wetlands would result in the loss of all these key services particularly access to clean water. According to RAMSAR the international champion for wetlands an estimated 64% of the world’s wetlands have disappeared since 1900.

This year we want to highlight that wetlands offer us a protection against the extreme effects of climate change, flooding, coastal erosion and drought. During the dry seasons, they release the water stored, delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages. They act as a natural safe guard against disasters and help us cope with extreme weather events. Well managed wetlands ensure communities are resilient and can bounce back from disasters.

There are three main types of wetlands in Dublin City

Marine and coastal wetlands. Examples are the mudflats, salt meadows and dune slacks at North Bull Island, the Strand at Sandymount and the Tolka River Estuary

Freshwater wetlands are typically marsh, swamps, wet grasslands, ponds streams and canals. These can be found in the City’s river bank parks along the Liffey, Tolka, and Dodder and at the formal and woodland ponds at St Anne and Bushy Park.

Constructed wetlands can be seen at Tolka Valley Park, and Ballymun’s Poppintree Park. These were built to alleviate flooding and to purify water from old landfill and road run off.

Our wetlands in Dublin are very special and some are of European importance for wildlife. At this time of year they are a great place to see winter water birds like ducks, the Light Bellied Brent Goose and waders. They are a key part of the water cycle for the city ensuring that Dublin Bay is an outstanding natural resource.

The most important wetlands in Dublin City are in Dublin Bay North Bull Island and Sandymount Strand – both are designated by the RAMSAR International Treaty on Wetlands.

Click below for information about the photo competition running from 2 February until 18th February .