Canada Sets World Rivers Day

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 4th annual World Rivers Day set for Sept. 28.

"Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organizations will be contributing to World Rivers Day", said Mark Angelo, chair and program head of BCIT's Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program. "The event will create a greater awareness of the urgent need to better care for our rivers and streams."

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, Canada in 1980 before successfully lobbying numerous organizations as well as agencies of the UN to recognize the event in 2005. Marking a global response to the need to better manage and conserve river ecosystems, World Rivers Day 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 initiative.

Endorsed in its inaugural year by UN agencies such as the United Nations University, and the International Network of Water, Environment and Health, World Rivers Day events will include river cleanups, 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, Taiwan to Australia and Togo, West Africa to the island of Dominica.

"It's pretty exciting to see a local event that began 27 years ago in British Columbia evolve into such a positive global effort to better care for our rivers," Angela said.

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