World Rivers Day is a celebration of the world’s waterways. It highlights the many values of rivers, strives to increase public awareness, and encourages the improved stewardship of all rivers around the world.
Rivers in virtually every country face an array of threats, and only through our active involvement can we ensure their health in the years ahead.
The theme of this year’s event is once again “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 this year will also profile the all-important link between the state of rivers and the state of oceans. This year is the 16th annual World Rivers Day.
“The importance of clean fresh water has been essential to the fight against COVID-19 so World Rivers Day is a timely opportunity for literally millions of people around the world to come together to commemorate the importance of healthy vibrant waterways,” said Mark Angelo, the founder and Chair of World Rivers Day. “Rivers are integral to all life,” added Angelo, who has paddled more than 1000 rivers in over 100 countries.
Events this year will be either physical, or virtual, depending on local COVID-19 circumstances. Many physical events will focus on educational and public awareness activities while others will include river cleanups, habitat restoration projects, and community riverside festivities. Activities of a digital nature will include school projects, art festivals, the launching of new campaigns, on-line essays and poems, digital photo galleries, new research projects, live-stream panels, and virtual film initiatives.
“Millions of people, dozens of countries, and numerous international organisations 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.”
Through its first decade, World Rivers Day complimented the United Nation’s (UN’s) Water for Life Decade and continues to do so as part of the UN’s current International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development.
Join the celebration. Plan on attending an event near you or start a Rivers Day event of your own. Events can range from stream cleanups and fish enhancement projects to educational outings and community riverside celebrations.