Wetland on Wheels 2014-2015: Empowering and encouraging stewards in BC
Goals and Objectives
Wetland conservation is everyone’s responsibility. BC Wildlife Federation’s Wetlands Education Program offers a range of workshops and outreach events that aim to enhance wetland stewardship across the province. Initiatives range from youth outreach/awareness events to enhancing the skillsets of practitioners through focused workshops and strategic meetings; and focuses on local and provincial initiatives. Outreach events focus on engaging youth in direct experiences with wetlands and/or associated wildlife (e.g., World Wetlands Days, School Outdoor Learning days, etc.). Workshops focus on empowering individuals who have the ability to conserve/enhance wetlands (e.g. landowners, planners, consultants and conservation groups). Workshops include the Wetlands Institute (on Eastern Vancouver Island) , Wetlandkeepers workshops (in Kitimat/Terrace, Rossland, and Prince George), Map our Marshes Workshops (Vancouver, Langley, Vernon), and Working Group Workshops (Eastern Vancouver Island, Lower Mainland, and Kootenay Boundary).
The Wetlands Institute provides training on wetland restoration, construction and conservation. Wetlandkeepers workshops educate participants on vegetation inventories, wildlife monitoring, and assessing wetland health. Map our Marshes workshops focus on delineating wetland boundaries with GPS units and incorporating data onto the BC Community Mapping Network. Working Group Sessions bring active stewardship groups and local/regional government together to focus on regional prioritization of wetland conservation activities. This year, we are also proposing to coordinate the Wetlands Stewardship Partnership of BC meetings and associated activities to harmonize efforts among key provincial agencies working on wetland conservation initiatives.
Purpose and Expected Outcomes
The Wetlands Institute includes direct habitat enhancement projects (i.e., wetland enhancement in Courtenay and Duncan, B.C.). In addition, a relatively high percentage of Wetlands Institute participants successfully complete conservation/restoration projects after attending the workshop.
The Wetlands Institute, Map our Marshes, and Wetlandkeepers workshops involve the collection of wetland vegetation/wildlife/heatlh data which can be used as a tool for local governments and other groups wishing to steward a wetland. These workshops provide hands-on training to 10-25 community members. Wherever possible, we provide support to past-participants to ensure their wetland projects are a success.
The Working Group Workshops provide planners, conservation groups, and/or fish and game groups with enhanced capacity to protect wetlands through information sharing and awareness about available legislative tools and best management practices.
Various locations across British Columbia.
For more information on this project, please contact Neil Fletcher, Wetlands Education Program Coordinator, BC Wildlife Federation.