Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for August 25th, 2011

World Rivers Day

The following is an edited version of a message I got in the email this morning. I have reduced its coverage to BC events but left in the links in case anyone living further afield is interested.

Below is another update from World Rivers Day chair
Mark Angelo, in the lead up to our seventh annual
World Rivers Day, slated for September 25th, 2011.

Greetings River Advocates,

Preparations are being made for World Rivers Day
on September 25th and some exciting events are
beginning to emerge for 2011!

Below is a small sampling of festivities from around the
world that are in the planning stages and many, many
more events will be included in future updates. We hope
you’ll consider organizing a Rivers Day event of your
own and globally, millions of people are expected
to participate.

Thousands of events around the world are anticipated to
take place. Just a few examples;

New Westminster, BC – The  Fraser River Discovery
Centre celebrates the opening of a major new exhibit
on the Heart of the Fraser at a special reception on the
evening of Sept. 23 in the run-up to Rivers Day. The
display focuses on efforts to protect the Hope to Mission
stretch of the Fraser, one of the most productive
stretches of river anywhere in the world. Contact

Vancouver, BC – Fraser Riverkeeper will be participating
for the 4th year in the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup
on September 24, 2011. Similar events are unnfolding
across Canada from Nova Scotia to Quebec and from
Prince edward Island to British Columbia. As part of both
BC and World Rivers Day, the Fraser Riverkeepers will
act as site coordinator for the cleanup of False Creek
East, which is a rocky beach near Science World.
Fraser Riverkeeper will also invite poets attending the
100,000 “Poets for Change” event in Vancouver that day
to take part of this action. The cleanup will go from noon
to two in the afternoon; contact –

North Arm with Baker

The North Arm of the Fraser River, Vancouver BC - my photo on flickr

Salmon Arm, BC – join in a major celebration of the
Salmon River Delta, including music, feasting, a blessing
from First Nations’ elders, and a riverside trail walk.
Contact – Warren Bell,

Port Angeles, Washington, USA – In the run-up to
Rivers Day, one of the most exciting and important dam
removals ever undertaken will commence as part of a
major river and fisheries restoration effort along
Washington’s Elwha River. A major science gathering
will take place on September 15 and the formal launch
of the dam decommissiong effort will take place Sept. 17.
In time for World Rivers Day, September 25, a new public
observation trail will be in place, as well as an interpretive
exhibit and several webcams so that the public can
continuously monitor the project over the next few years.
Contact –

Pullaway and Iron Horse with a log tow

The Fraser River at New Westminster BC - my photo on flickr

New Westminster, BC – The  Fraser River Discovery
Centre, we will be celebrating BC and World Rivers
Day with a festival that honours the Fraser River,
the province’s most magnificent river, and its many
tributaries. Inspired by the river, Artists on the River is
an art and environmental festival that attracts over
3,500 visitors to the Fraser River Discovery Centre
and the Westminster Quay boardwalk.  Consisting of
artists and artisans in all media displaying their work,
live entertainment for all ages, and crafts for children
and their parents, there is something for everyone!
Contact –

Fernie, BC – The Elk River Alliance is hosting the
“Elk River Swim, Drink, Fish Festival” Saturday
September 24 – Sunday September 25, 2011.
Celebrate our connection to the ribbon of life that links
residents in the Elk River watershed and is the lifeblood
of our community. On Saturday September 24, be an
active participant in stream science on Lizard Creek:
The Elk River Alliance Lizard Creek Streamkeepers
invite the public to their fall sampling day.  Get involved
in hands-on stream science taking water quality tests,
flow rates, mapping, measurements and sampling
freshwater creatures. Build a cutthroat kite or sculpt
a water critter. View displays on the Elk River
watershed. And on Rivers Day Sunday, participate in
the 7th annual Elk River Shoreline Cleanup:  Meet at
Annex Pond at 1:00 pm.
Contact – Lee Ann Walker at

Chilliwack, BC – on both BC and World Rivers Day,
join in one of western Canada’s biggest stream
cleanups as the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup
Society undertakes another major initiative along
one of BC’s most important recreational rivers.
Contact – Chris Gadsden at

Burnaby, BC – A massive celebration will take place to
celebrate the inspiring restoration of Guichon Creek, an
urban stream that only a few decades ago was severely
degraded (contact

Yale & Hope, BC – A major paddle trip is planned down
the mighty Fraser River from Yale to Hope. A flotilla of
canoes, kayaks and rafts will travel 22 km downstream
between the two historic communities.  Along the way,
we’ll stop for lunch and explore interesting locations
under the leadership of Fraser River historians.
Contact –

New Westminster, BC – the Fraser River Discovery
Centre will unveil an exciting new display on the
“Heart of the Fraser” as part of their World Rivers Day
celebrations. Contact –

Howe Sound, BC – local events will celebrate the
ecological resurgence of the area culminating in a plan to
restore fish stocks in Britannia Creek, a stream that was
once a toxic hot-spot but has bounced back following
efforts to address long standing pollution concerns.
Contact –

Numerous events are in the planning stages across the
United States as well as Africa, and South America.
Details will be forthcoming in future updates.

Visit our Web site at:
to find out more about World Rivers Day, We can help
your promotions via our website, as well as emails like
this one.

World Rivers Day is based on the incredible success of
BC Rivers Day in British Columbia, Canada over the
past 31 years.

Promoting River Stewardship
World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s
waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers
and strives to increase public awareness and
hopefully encourage the improved stewardship of
rivers around the world. Rivers in every country
face an array of threats, and only our active
involvement will ensure their health in the years

Join the Celebration!
World Rivers Day organizers encourage all of you
to come out and participate. In particular, consider
starting a Rivers Day event of your own, which
might range from a stream cleanup to a community
riverside celebration. And if you create an event, be
sure to tell us about it! We’ll keep you posted in
the months ahead as new Rivers Day activities are

International Partners
World Rivers Day is intended to compliment
the broader efforts of the United Nations
Water For Life Decade initiative and we look forward
to working closely with them in the months ahead to
promote this event and encourage new participants.
In launching World Rivers Day, we also greatly
appreciated the support of the United Nations
University and the International Network on Water,
Environment, and Health.

Special thanks to our World Rivers Day sponsors:

– Rivers Institute at BCIT and the
visionary commitment of its founding
supporter, Mr. Rudy North
– United Nations Water For Life Decade,
Canada initiative
– United Nations Water for Life Decade; 2005 – 2015.

To find out more about water issues, and how
to get involved with World Rivers Day, visit the
Web sites below for more information.

World Rivers Day Web Site:

Rivers Institute at BCIT:

BC Rivers Day Web Site:

United Nations “Water For Life Decade” /

Yours truly,

Mark Angelo,
— Chair, World Rivers Day
United Nations Water for Life, Canada initiative
— Chair, Rivers Institute at BCIT

Written by Stephen Rees

August 25, 2011 at 9:11 am

Posted in Environment, water

Tagged with