Countless plants and creatures, including humans, depend on wetlands for survival. But most of us don't really know how important, or fun to explore, they are.
February 2 is World Wetlands Day. Here are four ways to celebrate them in the Portland area (without even getting wet.)
Visit Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area
This natural jewel surrounded by warehouses and port terminals is one of Portland's best-kept secrets. Visit during winter for a dose of tranquility, and a good chance at spotting a bald eagle. How to get there.
Find some amphibians – for science
Pulling on waders to search for floating amphibian egg masses isn't just fun, it's a very hands-on way to help protect wildlife. Sign up.
See wetland wildlife up-close at the Oregon Zoo's Cascade Stream and Pond
Watch beavers put those famous chompers to use, river otters frolicking and ducks dabbling in this popular Oregon Zoo exhibit.
Make your own non-toxic cleaners
Using cleaners made from everyday ingredients like baking soda and rubbing alcohol helps keep pollutants out of waterways. It also makes a fun (adult-supervised) DIY activity. Get recipes.