World Rivers Day

World Rivers Day

September 17, 2009 09:30 ET

BC Rivers Day Set for September 27-Now a Global Event

Rivers Day aims to increase awareness, promote better stewardship and encourage action along BC's waterways

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 17, 2009) - With many of the world's rivers facing severe and mounting threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development, countries around the world are encouraged to participate in this year's 5th annual World Rivers Day (WRD) set for September 27. Millions of people around the world will be participating in an event based on the great success of BC (British Columbia) Rivers Day, which takes place on the same day. In BC alone, more than 75,000 people are anticipated to participate in close to 100 events ranging from stream clean-ups and fish enhancement projects to community riverside celebrations.

"Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organizations will be contributing to World Rivers Day," says Mark Angelo, founder and chair of both BC and World Rivers Day and chair of the Rivers Institute at BCIT. "Rivers are the arteries of our planet and yet many waterways continue to suffer from inadequate protection and inappropriate practices. WRD provides an opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our waterways while creating a greater awareness of the urgent need to better care for our rivers and streams. This year, HSBC Bank Canada has joined the ranks as the lead sponsor for WRD and their employees are participating in a variety of local events."

Angelo, a member of the Order of Canada, Order of BC, and an inaugural recipient of a United Nations (UN) Award for Science, Education and Conservation, initially founded BC Rivers Day in 1980 before successfully lobbying numerous organizations as well as agencies of the UN to recognize WRD in 2005. Marking a global response to the need to better manage and conserve river ecosystems, WRD celebrates the many values of the world's waterways while encouraging appropriate action to better protect rivers and streams. The event is also intended to compliment the UN's broader Water for Life initiative.

Endorsed in its inaugural year by UN agencies such as the United Nations University and the International Network of Water, Environment, and Health, BC and WRD events will include river clean-ups, fish enhancement projects, stream restoration initiatives, workshops, educational programs, and community riverside festivals. This year, events will take place in dozens of countries, ranging from Canada to England, Poland to the United States, Camaroon to Australia and from South Africa to the island of Dominica.

"It's pretty exciting to see a local event that began 29 years ago in British Columbia evolve into such a positive global effort to better care for our rivers," adds Angelo. "Many rivers are being hard hit by climate change and have come to symbolize the freshwater crisis facing a number of countries making improved stewardship imperative."

Events are planned in communities throughout the province. The main WRD event in Burnaby will take place alongside Still Creek, under the new pedestrian overpass on the Central Valley Greenway trail at Sperling Street and Winston Street from 11am to 3pm on Sunday, September 27.

Event participants are encouraged to use transit or ride bicycles to the event. The event site is located adjacent to the Sperling Burnaby Lake Skytrain station. Free and secure bicycle parking as well as vehicle parking will be available at the Burnaby Lake Park parking lot. For further information on this event, other WRD events, or to register an event, visit orcbc.ca or worldriversday.bcit.ca and click on the event update.

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