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International Wetlands Day

February 2

What is the theme for World Wetlands Day in 2023 ? Wetland Restoration the theme for 2023 highlights the urgent need to prioritize wetland restoration.

Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas is a “Wetlands of International Importance”.  Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest marsh in the interior of the United States, covering 41,000 acres, and is considered the most important shorebird migration point in the Western hemisphere. Approximately 45% of all migratory shorebirds nesting in North America stage at Cheyenne Bottoms during the spring migration. The area is critical habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including the whooping crane, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, least tern, and piping plover. Driving tours and maps available to the public.

Link to:  Kansas Wetlands Education Center website.  Located northeast of Great Bend, KWEC features a wetlands themed Nature Center with interactive exhibits and a gift shop, self guided driving tours, van tours and hosts annual Bird and Butterfly Festivals and well as Prairie Chicken lek photo opportunities.  Visit the website to see all of the events and activities planned by KWEC.

Link to:  Wetlands and Wildlife, National Scenic Byway – This 77-mile central Kansas Byway connects two of the world’s most significant natural wetlands — Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. More than 60,000 acres of wetlands host millions of migrating birds each year, including waterfowl, shorebirds, even Whooping Cranes. No wonder this region has been named one of the Eight Wonders of Kansas. The Byway offers far more than beautiful wetlands and birds. Along your trek, you’ll see native stone buildings, underground tunnels, metal street art, WPA art and bridges, an operating flour mill, a stretch of the Santa Fe Trail, and more.

Link to:  National Wildlife Refuges in Kansas.  US Fish and Wildlife Service manages four refuges in Kansas.  These wetlands, marshes, woodlands and prairies are managed for the benefit of wildlife over human use, and feature educational Nature Centers, trails and exhibits about the wildlife being protected. The public can visit seasonally to explore the large natural habitat properties. Visit the website to read about the Quivira, Flint Hills, Marais Des Cygnes and Kirwin Refuges in Kansas.

What is World Wetlands Day? World Wetlands Day is celebrated each year on February 2nd to raise awareness about wetlands. This day also marks the anniversary of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.

Why World Wetlands Day? Nearly 90% of the world’s wetlands have been degraded since the 1700s, and we are losing wetlands three times faster than forests. Yet, wetlands are critically important ecosystems that contribute to biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation, freshwater availability, world economies and more.

It is urgent that we raise national and global awareness about wetlands in order to reverse their rapid loss and encourage actions to conserve and restore them.

World Wetlands Day is the ideal time to increase people’s understanding of these critically important ecosystems.


February 2