Wetlands provide vital ecosystem services such as filtering and purifying water, protecting shorelines, reducing erosion, storing carbon, and providing rich habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals. Unfortunately, wetlands have been rapidly declining in number, size, and quality throughout North America. Those that remain are threatened by pollution, filling, draining, and other human impacts. Many marsh-dependent species have been affected, and are in need of monitoring, protection, and recovery efforts.
In Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, Eastern Habitat Joint Venture(EHJV) partners have secured and stewarded close to 940,000 hectares of wetland habitat! However, valuation of wetland conservation in terms of hectares says little about the biodiversity and functions these wetlands provide. To fill this gap, Bird Studies Canada, with support from EHJV partners, launched the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program in 2012.
The Maritimes MMP monitors the status of wetland-associated species, with a focus on secretive marsh birds. We're tracking long-term population trends and assessing overall marsh health to help guide continued wetland conservation efforts in the Maritimes.