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World Rivers Day Set for September 28

June 26, 2008

With many of the world’s rivers facing severe and mounting threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Canadian branch of the United Nations (UN) Water for Life initiative are encouraging countries and conservation groups around the world to participate in this year’s fourth annual World Rivers Day (WRD) on September 28.

“Rivers are the arteries of our planet and yet many waterways continue to suffer from inadequate protection and inappropriate practices,” says Mark Angelo, WRD founder and program head of the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program at BCIT.

Angelo, a member of the Order of Canada and an inaugural recipient of a UN Award for Science, Education, and Conservation, initially founded the highly successful Rivers Day event in British Columbia before successfully lobbying numerous organizations and 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 world-wide Water for Life initiative.

“Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organizations will be contributing to WRD”, adds Angelo. “It 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.”

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 can and will include river clean-ups, fish enhancement projects, stream restoration initiatives, workshops, educational programs, and community riverside festivals. Last year, events took place in countries ranging from Canada to England, Poland to the United States, Taiwan to the Congo, and from Togo, West Africa to the island of Dominica.

Founded by Angelo in 1980, BC Rivers Day has since become a template for WRD with close to 100,000 people participating in British Columbia alone. WRD fosters an increased awareness of water-related issues and promotes core values associated with sustainability, conservation, and river stewardship.

All countries are encouraged to participate. For further information or to register an event, visit http://www.worldriversday.bcit.ca.

 Contacts: British Columbia Institute of Technology Kelly Angelo Media Relations Coordinator (604) 432-8306 or Cell: (778) 928-2288 Email: Kelly_angelo@bcit.ca Website: www.bcit.ca/news

SOURCE: World Rivers Day




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