World Wetlands Day is celebrated on February 2 each year, marking the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran on the same date in 1971.
It serves a timely reminder to raise our awareness of wetland values and benefits and promote the conservation and wise use of wetland resources.
At Fortescue, we are lucky to have a wetland of national significance right on our doorstep.
The Fortescue Marsh, located just south of Fortescue’s Christmas Creek and Cloudbreak Mines, is the largest ephemeral (seasonally inundated) wetland in the Pilbara.
Extending over 1,048 square kilometres with a management are of around 5,836 square kilometres, the Marsh stretches east from the Goodiadarrie Hills for over 100km and may be 30km wide when in flood.
In addition to supporting productive agriculture in the region, the Marsh has cultural and heritage significance to the region’s traditional owners and supports a range of native plant and animal species, including a large and diverse number of migratory bird species.
To ensure the protection of the Marsh for its many uses and values, Fortescue has implemented a number of mitigation and management measures, including:
• minimising our clearing and access to the Marsh
• strict adherence to surface and groundwater management programs
• the innovative Papa Waringka Managed Aquifer program – one of the largest and most sophisticated managed aquifer recharge programs in Australia.
Last February, we captured some amazing drone footage of the Marsh following a cyclonic rainfall event. This footage highlights why this valuable resource is considered significant for pastoralists, traditional owners and environmental values.