World Rivers Day

World Rivers Day

September 17, 2009 03:01 ET

World Rivers Day Set for September 27

World Rivers Day aims to increase awareness, promote stewardship, and encourage action

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 Sunday, September 27.

"Millions of people, dozens of countries and numerous international organizations will be contributing to World Rivers Day," says Mark Angelo, WRD chair and chair of the Rivers Institute at BCIT. "WRD provides an opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our waterways. At the same time, the event will create 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 and an inaugural recipient of a United Nations (UN) Award for Science, Education and Conservation, founded the highly successful Rivers Day event in British Columbia 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 them. The event is also intended to compliment the UN's broader Water for Life Decade initiative.

Endorsed in its inaugural year by UN agencies such as the United Nations University and the International Network of Water, Environment and Health, 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 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," says Angelo. "Beyond celebrating our rivers, WRD helps to create greater awareness of the many threats that confront our waterways. 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."

With close to 100,000 people participating within British Columbia alone and millions worldwide, WRD fosters an increased awareness of water-related issues and promotes core values associated with sustainability, conservation and river stewardship.

For further information on WRD or to register a WRD event, visit worldriversday.bcit.ca and click on the events link. All countries are encouraged to participate.

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