The primary goal of the Wetland Inventory, Classification, Evaluation and Mapping project was to ensure all wetlands within Kelowna are accurately identified and mapped.
What is a wetland?
A wetland is land that is saturated long enough to promote wetland or aquatic processes typical of poorly drained soils, hydrophytic (water-loving plants) vegetation and various kinds of biological activity, which are adapted to a wet environment.
Why protect wetlands?
Estimations suggest that more than 85 per cent of the wetland the valley bottom and associated riparian habitats have been lost in the Okanagan and many of the remaining wetlands are highly fragmented.
Studies have shown that about 80 per cent of wildlife in our area are either directly-dependent upon wetland and riparian ecosystems or use them more frequently than most other habitat types.
Wetlands act like giant sponges; they quickly absorb water. By storing and slowly releasing rainfall,and spring run-off, wetlands reduce flooding. Okanagan wetlands contain crucial habitat for some rare species, including Tiger Salamanders and Great Basin Spadefoot Toads.