Why Wet? October 09, 2007
Today was the opening day for the 34th Annual Natural Areas Conference which is being held in Cleveland, Ohio. We had a several well-known speakers who presented many faucets of natural areas. Two of my favorites were Guy Denny - with a comprehensive look at Ohio's natural history, and Dr. David Wagner- author of that fantastic caterpillar book mentioned in several previous blogs.
A break-out session with a lot to offer, Ohio Rapid Assessment Method for Wetlands, was taught by Mick Micacchion of the EPA. Wetlands are tremendously important repositories for biodiversity and useful in many other ways as well. They act as reservoirs for excess storm water, which prevent flooding and filter pollutants from water. Often called the kidneys of our land, Ohio's wetlands need all the help they can get. Development is swallowing them up, and we have currently lost 90% of Ohio's wetlands. Don't think too hard about how you would feel with only 10% of your kidneys left. It is just too depressing. :(
Ashland is very fortunate to have several wonderful examples owned by Ashland College and the Ashland Park District. One was purchased by Clean Ohio Funds through the hard work of some local Audubon members: Sam Weyrick and Louise Fleming. Greater Mohican Audubon Society has a trip scheduled to visit Ashland University's wetlands for a bit of birding on Saturday Oct. 20th. See our Web page at www.gmasohio.org for more details. It would be a wonderful chance to see a wetland up close and personal. Hope to see you there!