The Department of Conservation and Fisheries hosted a clean-up at the Beef Island pond on Friday, February 3 in observance of World Wetlands Day.
World Wetlands Day was observed on Thursday, February 2, and Acting Chief Conservation and Fisheries Officer, Mr. Kelvin Penn invited the Territory’s residents to organise clean-ups near a wetland or beach in observation of the day.
Mr. Penn said, “I hope that this year is filled with plenty of helping hands across the Territory to encourage cleaner environments and to raise awareness of their prominence.”
Mr. Penn highlighted the importance of wetlands and stated, “As it relates to risk reduction, wetlands like the one on Anegada act as catchments which protect the island, from the impacts of floods, drought and hurricanes. The ponds also help to keep the shoreline intact by stabilising the soil and preventing sediment from destroying coral reefs.”
Environmental Education Officer, Mrs. Grenelvia Farrington said, “Wetlands provide an array of goods and services which include food, shelter from predators, and protective nurseries for juvenile fish; they act as a buffer protecting the land from storm surges, and provide ‘hurricane shelters’ for boats in areas like, the Paraquita Bay Lagoon on Tortola.”
World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on February 2. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar near the Caspian Sea.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour and the Conservation and Fisheries Department seek to ensure that the environment is well managed, protected and preserved to maintain the unique ecological features and natural beauty of the Virgin Islands.
Flamingos in Anegada (Photo Credit: Walker Magnum)