Monday, March 24, 2008

Palm Beach County - Wetlands Day - 3/29

On Saturday, March 29, a collection of local nature center experts, wetland birds and animals, environmental volunteers, naturalists and photographers will gather to celebrate Wetlands Day 2008. Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department sponsors this free event to promote awareness of water conservation and environmental issues.

At 10 a.m. Karen Milstein and Arlene Spagna, nationally-published nature photographers, will give a photo critique and lecture on nature photography, followed by a presentation from the South Florida Water Management District on the role of man-made wetlands in Everglades restoration at 11 a.m. At noon, Busch wildlife will give a presentation on the animals of the wetlands featuring baby alligators and birds of prey. The day will conclude with a rehabilitated wildlife release.

Palm Beach County Environmental Resource Management will hand out native saplings and information on reforestation. Nature Center volunteers will give boardwalk tours and provide story telling at the chickee hut every hour on the half hour.

The Green Cay and Wakodahatchee Wetlands were built by the Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department as an important component in its Reclaimed Water Program. In addition to providing valuable wildlife habitat to more than 150 bird species, turtles, fish, bobcats, foxes and otters, the wetlands also receive and help clean treated wastewater that is piped underground from the nearby Southern Region Water Reclamation Facility. This wastewater treatment plant also supplies the surrounding community with reclaimed water, a cost savings for consumers while conserving fresh drinking water that would otherwise be used to quench thirsty South Florida lawns and golf courses.

The Green Cay Wetlands are located at 12800 Hagen Ranch Road in Boynton Beach.

The Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department is a department of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners, serving approximately 500,000 residents with drinking water, reclaimed water and wastewater services.

It’s an opportunity to learn about the ecology of South Florida and understand the importance of conservation,” said Donald Campbell, manager of the Green Cay Nature Center which is the doorway to the Green Cay Wetlands.