BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 26, 2012) - Millions of people around the world will participate in the eighth annual World Rivers Day on Sunday, September 30. With many of the world's rivers facing severe and increasing threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development, more than 60 countries are participating in this year's festivities. Many events around the world will focus on educational and public awareness activities while others will include river and stream cleanups, habitat enhancement and restoration projects, and community riverside celebrations. World Rivers Day has its roots in the great success of BC Rivers Day, which has been celebrated for the past 32 years in Canada's western-most province.
World Rivers Day strives to increase public awareness of the importance of our waterways as well as the many threats confronting them.
"Rivers are the arteries of our planet and yet many waterways continue to be impacted by inappropriate practices and inadequate protection," says Mark Angelo, Rivers Day Chair and Chair Emeritus of the Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
Endorsed in its inaugural year by the United Nations University and the International Network of Water, Environment, and Health and with HSBC as its lead sponsor, World Rivers Day events will include activities in countries ranging from Canada to England, Rwanda to the United States, China to Australia, as well as on many of the major rivers of Europe.
"Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organizations will be contributing to World Rivers Day," says Angelo. "It provides a great opportunity for people to get out and enjoy our waterways. At the same time, the event strives to create a greater awareness of the urgent need to better care for our rivers and streams."
Robert Sandford, Chair of the Canadian Partnership Initiative in support of the United Nation's "Water for Life Decade" and an internationally recognized expert on scarcity and conservation issues, says, "World Rivers Day should be hailed for its global effort to increase awareness around the vital importance of our water resources and the need to properly protect and steward them in the face of mounting pressures."
Mr. Angelo and Mr. Sandford assisted children releasing trout during the promotional launch of World Rivers Day, which took place beside Guichon Creek, a stream that has been restored on the BCIT campus.
The event compliments the UN's broader Water for Life Decade initiative and they are a valued supporter of World Rivers Day.
Angelo, a member of the Order of Canada and an inaugural recipient of a United Nations Award for Science, Education and Conservation, initially founded BC Rivers Day in British Columbia before successfully lobbying numerous organizations as well as agencies of the UN to recognize World Rivers Day in 2005.
All countries are encouraged to participate and events can be registered at worldriversday.bcit.ca.
Editors Please Note: Video clips of Mark Angelo and b-roll are available at https://vimeo.com/50195972