Celebrating World Wetlands Day 2022!
World Wetlands Day is an annual celebration of a crucial and often overlooked ecosystem that supports biodiversity and mitigates climate change. A wetland can include many things, from inland marshes and floodplains to coastal estuaries, low-lying areas, and saltwater marshes. They are vital to a healthy, diverse ecosystem and maintaining or improving air and water quality, and a wide range of species call wetlands home.
At J.D. Irving, Limited, we have a commitment to a wide range of wetland areas, which are listed in our award winning, voluntary conservation program. To date, we have more than 280 sites (encompassing 22,425 hectares) of wetlands protected for birds, plants, reptiles, and amphibians. We also automatically buffer wetlands in the areas we operation off from our operations, to preserve the biodiversity of the area.
Here are a few of our favourite wetlands!
Saltmarshes like the one at the Irving Nature Park in Saint John, New Brunswick, play a critical role in the ecology of the area. Historically, this marsh provided hay for the cattle and horses of the early European settlers prior to farmland development in the province’s interior. Today, it provides essential nutrients to the bay’s food web as poorly rooted plants are pulled into the bay and used by the ocean’s ecosystem. The marsh also provides a buffer between the harsh waves of the Bay of Fundy and the upland areas of the park. The marsh is recognized by Bird Studies Canada as an Important Bird Area (IBA), which is an international recognition for its’ significance to birds and biodiversity.
The coastal wetland of La Dune de Bouctouche in Bouctouche, New Brunswick, is one of the last great dunes in our corner of North America, and a delicate ecosystem. It is listed as an IBA, and home to many species of shorebirds that rely on the Dunes as a key staging and stopover area to rest and feed during their annual migration.
Marram grass plays an important role in helping preserve this area and the ever-shifting dunes. Marram grass, or dune grass, can grow up to one metre tall, with roots between two and four metres tall. This deep-rooting plant helps stabilize the sands during storms, and is extremely salt- and cold weather- tolerant.
It cannot, however, withstand human disturbances, which is why we have placed an 800-metre boardwalk along the dunes so that visitors can enjoy the beautiful ocean views and animals while maintaining the biodiversity and health of the area.
As one of the most expansive wetland complexes in the Maritimes, the Portobello Creek Floodplain near Fredericton, NB provides important production, staging, and migration areas for a variety of waterfowl, including wood ducks, least bitterns and Canada warblers. It is part of a large alluvial floodplain and each spring, the riverbanks overflow, flooding all but the highest forested areas. The Portobello Creek itself is about 12 kilometres long, and access to the area is unrestricted. Visitors can enjoy a range of activities such as wildlife viewing, swimming, hiking, boating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and more!
Read more about our commitment to conservation here: https://jdirvingconservation.com