The Great Wetlands
“La mejor herencia que podemos dejarle a nuestros hijos es amor, conocimiento y un planeta en el que puedan vivir.”
A thin white layer of snow covered the ground today… it’s no wonder the shorebirds have yet to make their appearance here in Colorado. As time progresses, I begin to realize just how different shorebird surveys in San Diego are from shorebird surveys here in the Blanca Wetlands. When you first visit the wetlands, the only words to describe the area are ponds. Yup… ponds! 202 different ponds to be exact. Each pond is unique and different from the next. In only 2,500 acres, the Blanca Wetlands contains 160 different species of birds and is of biological significance to an abundance of amphibians and macroinvertebrates. Of 53 species of shorebirds that occur in Northen America, Blanca Wetlands is a host for 27. Of those 27, 11 are listed as a species in decline or of “high concern”.
As you can see, the wetlands are extremely important for the survival of shorebirds. Yet, in my few weeks here, I have witnessed my mentors Jill and Sue struggle to maintain water in the Wetlands. With the lack of water and all the water Colorado is obligated to give to Texas and New Mexico, there is very little left for wildlife. Agriculture always comes first here in Alamosa. With supply high in demand, and consumption increasing… the priority will continue to be on agriculture. WHY? This area is so diverse, yet people fail to see its importance. WHY must we be so self absorbed in our own needs? WHY do we fail to realize that we aren’t the most important creatures on this planet? WHY are we so destructive? Will things ever get better? Or will we deplete every resource, kill every species, and eventually bring on the demise of our own kind?
I admire Jill and Sue for what they have done to preserve the wetlands. Without them I am sure there would be no wetlands left to admire. I continue to learn more and more about the valley, and my love and admiration for this land is growing. I’m looking forward to all the outreach at the elementary and middle schools that we have in two weeks. I hope we can teach the future generation about the importance of nature and the animals that inhabit it.