On the fourth Sunday of every September, World Rivers Day celebrates waterways around the world and close to home. Waterways face a number of threats such as pollution and urban development, but through active involvement, our community can help boost their health for the future. Through public awareness and volunteer action, World Rivers Day encourages people to take an active role in river stewardship.
In the Comox Valley, our main waterways are the Courtenay River, the Tsolum River, and the Puntledge River, but there are hundreds of small creeks and streams that are important to environmental health, too. These rivers are homes to diverse insect and fish populations and they are an essential part of food webs that nourish birds, wild animals, and people. Clean waterways replenish our drinking water reserves, keep forests lush and green… and they’re beautiful, too!
BC Rivers Day was founded in Western Canada in 1980 by Burnaby resident Mark Angelo. In 2005, the United Nations launched the Water for Life Decade to educate the public on the need to protect water resources and, following a proposal for an event that celebrated rivers, the two events were merged into World Rivers Day in late 2005.
River enthusiasts from around the globe joined together and organized the inaugural WRD event, and following its great success, Rivers Day has since been celebrated in dozens of countries. The event has grown, and several million people in up to 100 countries now mark the occasion by celebrating the value of rivers.
Get involved and show your appreciation for our rivers! Join an event, organize a clean-up, take a riverside hike, and learn how you can participate in World Rivers Day by visiting www.worldriversday.com.