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

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

Trudeau to meet with U.K. and Japanese prime ministers ahead of G7 summit

French President Emmanuel Macron, this year’s G7 host, has little expectations of a unified front from the leaders

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Orangeville Northmen take Minto Cup at Langley Events Centre

Swept best-of-five series 3-0 over Victoria Shamrocks

Expanded support to help B.C. youth from care attend university still falling short

Inadequate support, limited awareness and eligibility restrictions some of the existing challenges

Most Read