Please join us for a walking tour to learn about the wetlands at Richardson-Taylor Preserve. This Carolina Wetlands Association Wetland Treasure site is located in the upper watershed of Jordan Lake water supply which makes these wetlands especially important for water quality protection and water supply for hundreds of thousands of community members. The tour will be led by Tristan Bailey, Marketing and Special Events Coordinator and will be 1 ½ to 2 hours long, and is limited to 10 participants.
Please join us for a walking tour to learn about the wetlands at Carolina Beach State Park. Come explore the three wetland types that include pocosin, limestone sinks, and brackish marsh. The tour will be led by Stephanie Covell, Carolina Beach State Park Ranger and will be 1 ½ to 2 hours long. The tour is limited to 25 participants.
Please join us for a walking tour to learn about the wetlands at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve. This Carolina Wetlands Association Wetland Treasure site is a breathtaking representation of sandhill longleaf habitat, and the longleaf pine seep wetlands that occur in this vegetative community. The tour, limited to the first 10 participants, will be led by a park ranger , and will be 1 ½ to 2 hours long.
Raleigh, NC – Carolina Wetlands Association joins wetlands enthusiasts all over the country to raise public awareness about the beauty and importance of the nation’s wetlands during May – American Wetlands Month. The designation of Wetland Treasures across the Carolinas selects wetlands that are ecologically valuable, protected by conservation plans, and home to an abundance of plant and animal diversity. All our Wetland Treasures provide many ecosystem services to the benefit of human wellbeing such as water quality, flood control, habitat, recreation, and a host of other services.
This year we are excited to display our Wetland Treasures logo which will give this program a brand and increased significance. “I am proud of our Wetland Treasures program and this logo will give the program lasting significance. We hope to see all of our Wetland Treasures make use of this logo as we continue to engage our Wetland Treasure communities”, said Carrie Caviness who is the program coordinator. “The logo is a wonderful addition to our program and gives greater fulfillment to being designated as a Wetland Treasures of the Carolina Wetlands Association” stated Heather Clarkson who coordinated the development of the logo.
“We are excited to highlight and celebrate the 2021 Wetland Treasure sites” said Carrie Caviness. “We hope Carolinians will take pride in our wetland heritage, and we owe a great deal of gratitude to the organizations and agencies that are protecting these natural treasures,” said Caviness. This year, we excited to be back to doing in person tours with the proper safety precautions as required by the site managers. This includes standard COVID-19 protocol of masks and social distancing.
The 2021 Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas are as follows (click on links to view a factsheet):
- Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge in Beaufort County, SC
- Wetland Type: Salt Marsh and Freshwater Ponds
- Tour Date: Saturday, May 1- Register here
- Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve in Moore County, NC
- Wetland Type: Seep and Riverine Swamp Forest
- Tour Date: Saturday, May 14 – Register here
- Wetland Types: Pocosin Swamp; Limesink Pond; Brakish Marsh
- Tour: Sunday, May 23- Register here
- Richardson-Taylor Preserve in Guilford County, NC
- Wetland Types: Freshwater Marsh
- Tour Date: Saturday, June 5 – Register here
- Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve in Horry and Marion Counties, SC
- Wetland Types: Floodplain Forest and Oxbow Lakes
- Tour Date: Fall 2021
Our now 30 Wetland Treasures expand across every ecoregion of both North and South Carolina giving most people the ability to visit one of our wetlands within a short drive and to discover the beauty and significance of being a Wetland Treasure of the Carolina Wetlands Association. Explore these special places by visiting our Interactive Wetland Treasure Map.
We intend to engage our Wetland Treasures communities in future activities, promote events, and help provide management solutions by sharing information. This will be emphasized in the coming months as our Wetland Treasure are not a one and done event, but an everlasting significance!
Carolina Wetlands Association thanks the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, whose Wetland Gems program is the model for this program. Carolina Wetlands Association promotes the understanding, protection, restoration, and enjoyment of North and South Carolina’s wetlands and associated ecosystems through science-based programs, education, and advocacy. More information online at carolinawetlands.org.
Happy wetland lovers!
As the season changes, it is nice to reflect on what the Carolina Wetlands Association has been doing and what to look forward to.
Give the problems presented by the pandemic, our tours of the 2020 Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas were put on hold and we did virtual tours instead. The virtual tours are a nice addition to our webpage; however, we are looking to scheduling in person tours soon, so keep checking our newsletter and webpage for announcements. We look forward to seeing you again.
For those of you who have volunteered to help with our Volunteer Wetlands Monitoring Program, we know it has been frustrating since the pandemic has altered our plans. We are working to prepare training materials on the volunteer monitoring protocol. Be patient and we will get some of you out in the field soon to start test the monitoring protocol and help with initial site set-up.
We have also been working on our proposal for Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge (a 2020 Wetland Treasure of the Carolinas) to be designated as a Wetland of International Importance (a.k.a. Ramsar Site) link. If accepted, it would be the first Ramsar Site in North Carolina. Huge thanks to George Howard, Kristie Gianopulos, and Curt Richardson. There are two Ramsar sites in South Carolina: Francis Beidler Forest and Congaree National Park. This is truly an exciting effort by the Carolina Wetlands Association.
Finally, we are very busy working on getting funding to help with our efforts with three coastal communities to protect and preserve their wetland resources and to restore wetlands that can help mitigate flooding.
We are currently operating our wetland photo contest that will be used to make our 2021 calendar. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to show your photography skills. If one of your pictures are chosen for the calendar, you get a free calendar, so let’s see those beautiful wetland photos!
There is a lot of important and exciting work going on by the organization and I hope you will consider making a financial contribution and volunteer in one or more of our efforts. We cannot do this work without your support.
Thanks much and go explore a wetland!
This year marks the 5th year of the Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas program. That means that 25 wetlands in North and South Carolina have been honored as Wetland Treasures by the Carolina Wetlands Association.
Watch the video to learn more about the Wetland Treasures Program, how the wetlands are selected, and the unique qualities and services they provide. The video is presented by Rick Savage (Board President) and Dr. Carrie Caviness (Leader of the Wetland Treasures Program).n Lakes (NC
Carolina Wetlands Association joins wetland enthusiasts all over the country to raise public awareness about the beauty and importance of the nation’s wetlands during May, American Wetlands Month. To promote the importance of wetland ecosystems, the Carolina Wetlands Association announces recognizes five Wetland Treasures of the Carolinas each May.
Wetland Treasures are ecologically valuable wetlands, protected by conservation plans, and home to a diversity of plants and animals. This year marks the 5th year of the program meaning that 25 wetlands have been honored as Wetland Treasures.
Join us for a a 30-minute webinar that will you an overview of the program, highlight the wetlands recognized by this designation, and learn how you can explore more information about our Wetland Treasures in North and South Carolina.
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,
Dearest wetland supporters:
Just wanted to say a big thank you for all your support. 2019 was a big year for us as we were able to start several new projects and will be starting others in 2020. We cannot do this without your support, both financially and in volunteering.
A major effort that Carolina Wetlands Association was working with the Natural and Working Lands initiative started by the Governor’s office and managed by NC DEQ. This is a stakeholder group of state and federal agencies, NGOs and nonprofits, and experts from academia. Kim Matthews, Heather Clarkson and I work on this effort all year long and recommendations are currently being written up.
The recommendations focus on forest and wetland restoration to sequester more carbon, the co-benefits that result in terms of ecosystem services (such as water quality, flood control, etc.), and the building of community resilience. Along with these recommendations, are many policy suggestions such as expanding the floodplain buyout program to include farms, environmental equity, public outreach and education and the role of citizen science. I was also invited to attend a meeting of the US Climate Alliance in Washington, DC a part of the NC delegation.
From the Natural and Working Lands effort and with meeting with many other environmental organization in the state, Carolina Wetlands Association has taken on the challenge to develop a workshop to educate local decision makers about wetland value, their place in nature-based solutions and how they help build community resilience. The first version of the workshop was presented at the SeaGrant Coastal Conference in Wilmington in November. Amanda Johnson, David Shouse, Kim Mathews and I attended the meeting and presented the workshop. Very valuable feedback was received and the workshop will be updated. It is likely that NC Office of Recovery and Resiliency will partner with us on this workshop which we view as important to implementing the recommendations of the Natural and Working Lands initiative.
We also did our normal events to advocate for wetlands at Cary Arbor day, Reptile and Amphibian day at the NC Natural Science Museum, Bass Lake Day, meet and greet events in Asheville and Durham.
Plans for a SC Wetlands Matter event is being planed for March in Georgetown. There are also plans being made to have a similar Wetlands Matter event in Hilton Head Island, SC with the Coastal Discovery Museum and the HHI Land Trust later in 2020.
Carolina Wetlands Association was a sponsor to the WRRI conference in March for the second straight year. We had one session with four wetland papers and we had a panel discussion with Geoff Gisler (Southern Environmental Law Center and Carolina Wetlands Association), Norton Webster (Carolina Wetlands Association), Phil May (Carolina Ecology), and Michael Flynn (NC Coastal Federation) about the rule changes to the waters of the US (WOTUS).
The Association also was a sponsor for the America Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) annual meeting in Asheville in June. This was a great conference with Kim Matthews, Norton Webster and I attending. We were able to get quite a few ecological engineering/restoration companies interested in Carolina Wetlands as well as many of the attendees. The AEES is a national organization.
This past year also saw our newest Wetland Treasure selections: Bluff Mountain Fen (Ash County, NC), Croatan National Forest (Craven, Carteret, and Jones Counties, NC), Merchants Mill Pond (Gates County, NC), Santee Coastal Preserve (Charleston County, SC), and Woods Bay (Florence, Clarendon, and Sumter counties, SC). The wetland treasure tours were well attended, and all had a great time learning about their area wetlands.
Early in the year there were several meetings between Carolina Wetlands, RTI International and NC State University to talk about a grant to develop a volunteer wetland monitoring program. Michael Burchell and Natalie Nelson of NCSU, Kim Matthews of RTI and Carolina Wetlands Association, and I wrote an EPA Wetlands Program Development grant and was awarded the grant in June. We will be starting work on developing that volunteer wetland monitoring program with a few of our wetland treasures in 2020. This is a major accomplishment for the organization and will provide a project that will hopefully be sustainable with several sources of funding.
We will need to continue to have your support in 2020 as this will be our best year yet. We are making a difference. If you have not made your financial contribution, please do so and contact us if you want to help out on any of these projects.
Happy New Year and start the new year by exploring a wetland.
May is American Wetland Month, so I hope you all are celebrating our wetlands and the value they bring to us all. We have had two of our Wetland Treasure tours, Woods Bay and Santee Coastal Preserve, both in SC, and they were a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone who participated. The tours were very informative and attendees learned a lot about our wetlands. We have three more tours to go so be sure to check them out; there is open space for the tours at Croatan National Forest and Merchants Mill Pond.
Also during American Wetland Month, we hope you will remember your organization. We are completing our 3-year Strategic Plan and will be taking steps to implement the plan. We will make it available publicly once the Board approves it in July. In order to implement the plan, we will need much more funding and people resources and that is where you come into play. Please consider making a donation to the organization during American Wetlands Month, both financially and time! Let us hear from you.
Now go out and explore a wetland!