This Burnaby resident founded a global event to protect rivers

Burnaby NOW

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For the love of water: Mark Angelo, founder of B.C. Rivers Day and World Rivers Day, at Deer Lake Brook, near the Burnaby Village Museum. This year’s event is set for Sunday, Sept. 22 at the museum. There will be fun activities for the whole family, including crafts, music and demonstrations. Photo by Jennifer Gauthier/Burnaby NOW

Millions of people and thousands of events around the world will mark World Rivers Day 2019 on Sunday, Sept. 22 in what has become one of the largest environmental celebrations on the planet.

In Burnaby, the event will be about having fun and learning more about our local waterways with an event that runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Burnaby Village Museum. Come out for a full day of displays, entertainment and more for all ages.

The theme of this year’s event is “waterways in our communities” with a special emphasis on the need to protect and restore urban waterways which are often under great pressure. Many events will focus on educational and public awareness activities while others will include river cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and community riverside celebrations.

This year is the 15th annual World Rivers Day, which has its roots in the success of BC Rivers Day, which is celebrating its 40th annual event 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,” said Burnaby resident Mark Angelo, World Rivers Day chair and founder and chair emeritus of the Rivers Institute at BCIT.

“Rivers are integral to all life. Yet, many of the world’s waterways continue to face an array of threats and are often impacted by inappropriate practices and inadequate protection,” said Angelo, who has paddled more than 1000 rivers in over 100 countries.

Endorsed in its inaugural year by the United Nations University and the International Network on Water, Environment and Health, and with groups such as the Sitka Foundation and Patagonia as lead sponsors along with the support of others such as the Real Estate Foundation of BC and the Pacific Salmon Foundation, World Rivers Day events will take place in countries ranging from Canada to England, the United States to India, Australia to Bangladesh, and from Caribbean nations such as Dominica to the great rivers of Europe.

“Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organizations will be contributing to World Rivers Day,” said 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.”

World Rivers Day 2019 – Burnaby

When: Sun. Sept. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Where: Burnaby Village Museum – 6501 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby