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

Reports of rashes prompt pool closures at Harrison Hot Springs

Public pool available after all five mineral pools closed until further notice

Oil pipeline company offers cash to expand under two Chilliwack school yards

District offered $136,500 to widen from 18 to 42 metres through Vedder middle and Watson elementary

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Sarah Wark’s run just about done at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

With an overall record of 5-5, Wark’s Team B.C. won’t be qualifying for Saturday’s playoff round.

Chilliwack’s aquifer again in the spotlight with NEB pipeline approval

Concerns from WaterWealth Project and Coun. Jason Lum, but mayor says it’s time to ‘move forward’

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

Twilight Drive-In announces open season start date

Opening weekend will showcase a double feature with Aquaman at 7:15 p.m. and Glass at 9:50 p.m.

Pope’s sex abuse prevention summit explained

It’s A high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops the global problem

B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Man sentenced to 7 years for smuggling drugs and shooting at border guards in Sumas

Nathan Hall was arrested in Abbotsford in 2013 after day-long manhunt

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Most Read