Sep 21 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 20, 2012
NANAIMO - “We are very pleased that The City of Nanaimo has recognized the importance of our local rivers and waterways by Proclaiming September 30th as BC & World Rivers Day,” says Laurie Gourlay, the President of the Mid Island Sustainability & Stewardship Initiative.
MISSI’s request to the City was promptly approved, “which bodes well for water and coastal considerations”, in Gourlay’s optimistic opinion. MISSI has been campaigning for greater conservation measures to be implemented for the Nanaimo River, and its watershed and estuary, for the past year.
“All levels of government, and both private and public stewards of waterways, have heard from us in the last six months,” Gourlay notes. In particular, MISSI is calling for the boundaries of the proposed ‘Southern Strait of Georgia National Marine Conservation Area’, to be extended to include the coastal waters of Gabriola Island as well as the immediate river waters and mudflats of the Nanaimo estuary.
“The Proclamation goes further than the Nanaimo River, however” Gourlay adds, “recognizing the role that rivers, both locally and globally, have played in providing society with environmental, economic, and recreation value for their citizens.”
Nanaimo’s Proclamation also affirms that ‘rivers are an integral part of our natural environment upon which every living thing is dependent’, and that rivers have been central ‘in the discovery and heritage of the Province of BC.’
“The benefits to British Columbia, and to Nanaimo and region, are prominent to all of us living here,” says Gourlay. “And we are proud to be sharing our appreciation of rivers with millions of people, in dozens of countries around the world, who are also celebrating World Rivers Day.”
MISSI’s interest in fostering stewardship and conservation practices in mid island rivers includes the same shared concerns that the world is formally recognizing as nations begin to priorize [sic] actions to secure good, clean and sustainable water supplies.
As the Mayor and City of Nanaimo have declared, BC and World Rivers Day provide “a chance to celebrate local, provincial and the world’s river systems and watersheds, and to reflect on what we stand to lose should we fail to take care of them.”"We applaud the Mayor and Council of The City of Nanaimo for their leadership and support in Proclaiming September 30th, 2012 as BC & World Rivers Day”, Gourlay adds, smiling!