World World Wetlands Day was celebrated on Friday, February 2.
Locally, environmentalist Mark Selmes said it was a time to remember how the Goulburn Wetlands provided numerous benefits for people, plants and animals as well as supporting a sustainable urban future.
“There have been times when Goulburn wetlands have been under flood, and times (like now) when it has nearly dried out,” Mr Selmes said.
“Conditions and animal species in the wetlands change as a response to rainfall, localised flooding and stormwater runoff, or as we are now seeing, the results of a very dry winter and a hot summer.”
He said the Goulburn wetlands could be thought of more as a string of temporary lakes or ponds, going up and down, supporting a diversity of different wildlife during changing conditions and also providing refuges for a variety of rare, seasonal and migratory species.
“Wetlands are part of the natural water cycle and trap nutrients and sediments (such as phosphorous and nitrogen deposited by industry and agriculture), creating healthier streams and river flows, and purifying water in the catchment area,” he said.
“This is largely because the plants, animals and bacteria that reside in our wetlands remove harmful impurities in the water long before it reaches your home.
“During flood events these areas can mitigate damage by storing excess water, slowing down flows and acting as a filter and recharge area. They play an important role in our growing urban areas where runoff and water quality is continually under stress.
“In short, the Goulburn Wetlands support a wide range of biodiversity needs. They provide for a sustainable urban future and also are an area for passive recreation in both the wet and the dry.”