Langley resident Ted Lightfoot created a weatherproof mural of an Orca to mark World Wetlands Day. Black Press Media photo

VIDEO: We must save our wetlands to save humanity, B.C. activist says

For World Wetlands Day, Ted Lightfoot created a weatherproof mural of an orca

  • Feb. 2, 2019 12:20 p.m.

To save ourselves, we need to save our wetlands, environmental activist Ted Lightfoot believes.

“Save the wetlands, you save the salmon, you save the beavers, you save the orcas, you save humanity,” Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot spoke Saturday in Langley at the unveiling of a weatherproof mural of an orca at the Kwantlen First Nation cultural centre for World Wetlands Day.

It took Lightfoot, a former biologist, a week to complete the mural, using different coloured tarpaulins and mother-of-pearl for the eyes.

Lightfoot planned to display the banner at another World Wetlands Day event later in the day.

“The importance of wetlands is paramount,” said Lightfoot.

“The killer whales are all dependant on the salmon.”

World Wetlands Day aims to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands by marking the anniversary of the 1971 creation of an worldwide agreement on wetlands in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea.

Canada is one of 170 countries that have signed the international convention on wetlands, called the Ramsar Convention, a treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

This year, event organizers focused on wetlands as a natural solution to climate change.

Wetlands buffer coastlines from extreme weather, while coastal wetlands such as salt marshes, mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs act like shock absorbers to reduce the intensity of waves, storm surges, and tsunamis.

Inland wetlands such as flood plains, rivers, lakes and swamps “function like sponges, absorbing and storing excess rainfall and reducing flood surges,” a ramsar.org online message states.

“Wetlands are the most effective carbon sinks on Earth.”

Since 1970, an estimated 35 per cent of the wetlands have been lost, releasing centuries of stored carbon.

“Individuals, communities and governments must work together to protect these amazing ecosystems, which help us prepare for, cope with and bounce back from the impacts of climate change.”

READ MORE: Langley man travels coast-to-coast to honour Canada’s national symbol

Last year, Lightfoot was given an Environmental Hero Award for his work protecting the fish habitat and riparian area for Nathan Creek in North Langley.

Lightfoot formed the West Creek Awareness Group, and has been actively involved with WOLF (Watchers of Langley’s Forests), the Glen Valley Watershed Society, the Langley Field Naturalists and the Langley Environmental Partners Society.

Lightfoot built a mobile display trailer depicting beaver habitat and the beaver as a keystone species of Canada. At his own expense, he travelled across the country to raise awareness about the beaver, its habitat and importance to the history and natural environment.

Just Posted

Mount Arrowsmith skaters bring Beatlemania to Port Alberni

Biennial winter carnival showcases Port Alberni skaters

Portal Players Looking for love onstage in Port Alberni

Newcomers bring fun Norm Foster play to life for short run

Alberni boys win 20th consecutive Island Wrestling Championships

Alberni District Secondary School boys finished with 69 points

Juno-nominated Indigenous hip-hop duo to play in Port Alberni

Snotty Nose Rez Kids will be at the Kingsway Pub on Saturday, Feb. 23

Coldest Night of the Year event brings attention to plight of the homeless

Port Alberni teams prepare to walk one of three routes and raise funds too

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read