Dear Wetlands Enthusiasts:
Strange times, indeed! I had written a message for the March newsletter entirely focused on the 5th anniversary of the Carolina Wetlands Association and our Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas program. Then, like everyone else, I became consumed by the coronavirus. I have been hunkered down like most of you trying to figure out how to carryout life in this kind of environment. I am definitely learning I don’t need to go out in my carbon emitting vehicle as much as I do. I am walking more, planning my trips better, and thinking how the Carolina Wetlands Association needs to operate during the pandemic which could go on for months. We are conducting our Board and Committee meetings virtually and we are planning on doing some webinars and posting information on Facebook. Stay alert for these announcements; you will not want to miss them.
On April 22, we will be announcing the 2020 Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas. Unfortunately, the tours which were scheduled for May will be delayed until the risk from the virus has been eliminated. I would like to reflect a little on what our Wetland Treasures program is about.
First, the program was inspired by Laura England who brought her experience with the Wetland Gems of the Wisconsin Wetlands Association to the Carolinas. The Wetland Treasures program recognizing these wetlands as having special value is important to keeping them protected, well managed, and open to you, our wetland enthusiasts to enjoy. Selecting wetlands for this recognition is not an easy task because there are so many good wetlands in North and South Carolina to choose from. The members of our Program Committee identify and select the Treasures based on our selection criteria. Once selected, we contact the wetland owner/manager and work with them to develop fact sheets and schedule tours to each site. The fact sheets are available on our website and can be used by teachers to broaden their student’s knowledge about the value of wetlands. Once all of this is done, we then announce the Wetland Treasures to the world. Truly this is a lot of work and I want to thank Carrie Caviness for leading this program for the last few years. And of course, I need to also thank Jessica Tisdale and Amin Davis who have been the backbone of the program since it started. It is a lot of work, but the dedication to this program is clear. A tremendous thanks to you all.
So, for now stay tuned, stay in, and enjoy a wetland, remotely. Check our You Tube Channel for videos of some of our past treasures.
Stay safe all,