World Nature Conservation Day
World Nature Conservation Day’s purpose is to create awareness and to protect and preserve healthy ecosystems for future generations.
How is Trace contributing to Nature Conservation Day? We are partnering with the organization Friends of Fish Creek.
Will Ratliffe, Principal Geologist at Trace often visits Fish Creek Park in Calgary, AB and noticed a lot of waste and microplastics trapped in the grasses of the Voiter’s Flats storm pond. Together we brainstormed some ideas on how we could help conserve this area and decided that our goal is to remove waste without throwing out the organic material or disturbing the pond habitat. Friends of Fish Creek agreed with our pilot to use large fine-meshed nets to remove the waste and grasses and manually separating plastics from the organic material. Since organic material in landfills contribute to methane emissions, we want to compost the organic waste and dispose of the plastics. Our objective is to restore the pond habitat to its natural state and remove any toxic materials that wildlife may accidentally ingest, thereby reducing preventable mortality and ensuring the diversity of the ecosystem.
From this pilot we plan to investigate the scale and sources of the pollution. Following the study, we will plan larger clean ups and work with the City of Calgary to investigate if the issue is operational or the design of the storm water drains.
The first step in conservation is to create awareness and education through posts like this. The more we are informed of the impacts we have on our environment, the better understanding we have about the consequences of our actions and what we can do to help.
Conservation requires all of us on the individual, corporate, and government levels to take steps to preserve our environment. Nature conservation is the best tool we have against the increasing environmental issues that we face. The natural processes and cycles of ecosystems are incredibly valuable and need to be preserved to maintain a stable and healthy environment. I truly hope we can work together to create a safe and healthy future for generations to come.
Here are some ways we all can contribute to conservation this summer:
- Planting drought resistance lawns
- Clover gardens require little maintenance (fertilizer and cutting) and very little watering thus conserving water and reducing run off
- Planting native vegetation to sustain pollinators
- Many “native” seeds sold in stores may not be native to your area; the best places to purchase native plants are at your local nurseries
- Collecting rainwater to water plants/lawn
- Reducing the need for water use especially for recreational and aesthetic purposes
- Thrifting for furniture and clothing
- Reducing our consumption and waste in landfills to conserve natural resources
- Turning off water heater and unplugging all appliances before vacation
- Save some money and your consumption of energy
- Using Coral Reef Safe Sunscreen on vacation
- Doing our part to protect aquatic habitat that many coral reefs provide
Natalie Chan, B.Sc. (BIT)