YORKTON - In a world where the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to create headlines regarding the way books are banned to thwart youth learning about our often scarred past, the trans community is under attack, and science for many is not to be trusted, an event was held Sept. 24, which garnered little attention.
Yet, World Rivers Day should be focusing our attention on the importance of water.
Of course rivers are important to agriculture providing water pathways for moving grain, as a source of water for irrigation, and as part of larger ecosystems which are crucial to water control.
So it is good to recognize that more than 100 countries were expected to participate this year across six continents, in what organizers suggest has become one of the planet’s biggest environmental celebrations.
There were events that took place in Canada, the events, according to a WRD release, included:
* The "salmon spotting campaign" of the Pacific Salmon Foundation,
* BC Rivers Day celebrations organized by the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC,
* The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC and the Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) will be releasing a much-anticipated film on Blue Ecology (or water-based ecology to some) that outlines an incredibly progressive and much needed ecological philosophy interweaving indigenous and western perspectives,
* In Carman, Manitoba, the Boyne River Keepers will be hosting a special WRD event,
* In Ontario, an indigenous led group of Anishnaabe, Dene, Metis among others, known as the Water Walkers for the Missinnihe (Credit) River, will conduct ceremonies to raise awareness of various threats such as aggregate mining, development and pollution facing the river’s watershed,
* The Red River Paddling Challenge in Winnipeg, Manitoba on September 23-24,
* The Canadian Water Resources Association SYP Ottawa Chapter will be running a " Water Social Networking Event" on Sep 24, on World Rivers Day in Ottawa, Ontario at Remic Rapids Park near Ottawa River,
* Also in Ontario, Canada, The Coalition for the West Credit River has a Live-Stream camera in the river filming a cold-water ecosystem,
* In Ontario, the nationally acclaimed group, Blue Fish Canada is announcing the Blue Fish Exploration Center. Their Crown lease has been secured and the building purchased. Blue Fish volunteers have been busy throughout August and into September preparing the new fully accessible Blue Fish Youth Exploration Centre and Research Station. One of the nearby freshwater sources we plan to study and explore is Quebec’s Pontiac region’s Coulonge River,
* And a pleasingly long list of other events in B.C. where WRD has most obviously caught on in terms of importance.
Ultimately every event that promotes the idea of river, and of course associated water health, is a positive.
So hopefully, the annual effort will grow in future years to garner the headlines rivers and water deserve.