Regional Executive Director Samuel Peñafiel reported that in Region 1, the DENR through the Protected Areas, Wildlife and Coastal Zone Management Service has identified various critical wetlands to wit: (in the province of Pangasinan: Cacayasen wetlands in Burgos, Balingasay River, Santiago Island , Arnedo coasts, Lambes Wetland , Zaragosa Wetland, - all in Bolinao; Bani coasts and mangrove area (Bani Protected Areas), in the municipality of Bani; Mona Wetland , Pangapisan Wetland, and Hundred Islands National Park in Alaminos City, and in San Roque/San Manuel Dam in San Manuel, and Barangay Biec in Binmaley. In the province of La Union, critical wetlands identified area: Casantaan beaches in Brgy. Cupang, Sto. Tomas, La Union. In the province of Ilocos Norte, Saud Beach in Pagudpud, Paoay lake National Park in Paoay, and in Ilocos Sur, Pantay Pula nipa and mangrove area in Villamar, Suyo, Nagtripitian River in Bantay, Libtong Dardarat ricefields in Tagudin, and Baringcucurong wetlands in the municipality of Suyo. Total area of wetlands totalling about 3,306.3 hectares. The wetlands in Region 1 provide a wide range of benefits and services for the people’s livelihoods including food, flood protection, tourism activities as well as water supply. However, they are extremely vulnerable to over exploitation /degradation due to their abundance of fish, fuel, and water. When they are viewed as unproductive or marginal lands, they are targeted for drainage and conversion.

         Waterbirds such as herons, egrets, ducks and geese, and waders, use wetlands during the majority of their lifetime. RED Peñafiel disclosed that PAWCZMS data generated in CY 2011, a total of 51 waterbird species observed in 25 wetlands in the region. Among the waterbirds are: little egret, with the estimated total of 10,435; intermediate egret, cattle egret, grey heron, purple heron, great-billed heron, rufos night heron, black crown, little green herons, bitterns of various species like black, cinnamon, great bittern, schrenck’s, yellow bitterns; greenshank, common redshank, (sandpipers) ; wood, common terek, and curfew sandpipers: Philippine duck, wandering whistling duck, tufted duck, little grebe, blackwinged stint, longtoed stint, rednecked stint; pacific golden plover , mongolian , little –ringed, long billed grey , Kentish and Malaysian plovers, others are terns, rails, waterhen, hen, shirebirds, tattlers, kingfisher, mangrove blue flycatcher , brahmity kite, and wagtail…

        Among the activities included in this year’s celebration include lectures, barangay meeting and for a, and photo documentation of various wetlands in Region 1 with the participation of the Pangasinan Photographers’ Club in collaboration with PENRO Officer of Pangasinan Ms. Leduina Co.