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Letter: Designate Niagara River as wetland of importance

Designate Niagara River as wetland of importance

Western New York has access to 25 percent of the world’s fresh water. One of our most important resources, the Niagara River Corridor, supports 338 species of birds, 102 species of fish, 35 species of mammals and 734 species of plants. It links the Great Lakes Erie and Ontario, and supports local economies of tourism, manufacturing, technology and green energy, among others. The corridor is important to our recreation, waste processing, power generation, trans-shipment and drinking water.

So how do you, a local citizen eager to celebrate Earth Day, honor such an important body of water in a productive way? By showing your support for nominating the Niagara River Corridor as a Wetland of International Importance, otherwise known as a Ramsar site. Signed in 1971 (the year after Earth Day began), the Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty for the conservation of wetlands. Such a designation not only increases funding, attention and research to the area, but also marks international cooperation and progression toward sustainable development.

Groups from the United States and Canada have been working hard to designate the Niagara River Corridor as the newest wetland of international importance. When designated, this will be the first transboundary (i.e.: including two countries) Ramsar site in North America. Chances are, you want to support your local environment, but might not have the time or resources to do so. What you can easily do is search online for “SUNY Buffalo Ramsar Niagara,” navigate our page and click “Show Your Support.” It’s easy, takes little time and allows you to voice your opinion that our water matters.

Benjamin Franklin said, “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” Let’s take him for his word and work together to ensure our well never runs dry.

Jesse Hoelscher

East Aurora