Wetlands in B.C.

British Columbia's wetlands currently comprise around 5.28 million hectares (13.047 million acres), or approximately 5% of the land base. These wetlands provide critical habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.

Most wildlife use wetland habitat at some point in their life cycle and many red and blue listed species are wetland dependent.

Wetlands are helping minimize or even remediate environmental problems. As part of nature's filtration system wetlands absorb and filter sediments, pollutants, and excess nutrients; recharge groundwater; maintain stream flows; control runoff; store flood waters; reduce erosion; stabilize shorelines; and help regulate atmospheric gases and climate cycles. 

In short, wetlands absorb water quickly and release it slowly with an improvement in quality. Conservation and management efforts help reduce wetland losses a comprehensive approach is needed to ensure the protection and management of wetlands. 

Several initiatives currently under development including the biodiversity strategy, and the species at risk strategy, as well as ongoing land use planning and protected areas management, will play an important role in protecting maintaining and restoring wetlands.

Wetland Ways: Interim Guidelines for Wetland Protection and Conservation in British Columbia: