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National Rivers Month – June 2024

Americans celebrate National Rivers Month every year in June to learn how they can care for their rivers and keep them clean and thriving. Rivers are not only a source of water, but also food, irrigation, and shelter. Many communities depend on them for their livelihood and way of life. It is our responsibility to preserve rivers like a national treasure and find ways in which we can function without polluting or damaging them.

History of National Rivers Month

National Rivers Month is celebrated in June every year to showcase the importance of rivers across the globe. The UN established ‘Water for Life Decade’ in an attempt to spread awareness about saving water resources. National Rivers Month is a continued effort initiated by famous conservationist Mark Angelo.

The idea of an international event highlighting the value of rivers was inspired by the British Columbia Rivers Day, which was also founded by Mark Angelo. The UN believes National Rivers Month to be a great way to fulfill the aims and objectives of its resolution for preserving water resources around the world. River conservationists from all parts of the globe unite on a single platform, which is the inaugural World Rivers Day (WRD) ceremony.

Today, National Rivers Month is considered a national event and is also celebrated in more than 60 countries each year. The 30-day event focuses on the Earth’s waterways and effective ways to save water for future generations. Throughout this month, people pay tribute to the world’s most precious rivers.

Climate change and toxic pollution put rivers at risk. Angelo explored more than a thousand rivers across the globe, which is a record in itself. His show, “Riverworld,” gained immense popularity among river enthusiasts and its website has grown significantly over the years.

National Rivers Month timeline

The First Rivers Day

Mark Angelo creates river awareness among British Columbians.

June Becomes National Rivers Month

That first National Rivers Month is celebrated.

The UN Commits to Safe Sanitation

The UN pledges to give people safe water and adequate sanitation.

The Water Action Decade

The UN declares the years 2018 to 2028 as the Water Action Decade.

National Rivers Month FAQs

What happens when you remove a dam?

After the removal of a dam, the natural flow of water gets restored. Natural habitats for local river species also get restored.

What makes a river different colors?

Various minerals, soil runoff, and rocks can make the color of river water appear different from its natural color.

How much drinking water comes from rivers?

Only 0.3% of drinking water comes from rivers. The remaining freshwater is unattainable as it is present in the form of glaciers or buried underground. 

How To Celebrate National Rivers Month

  1. Participate in a river cleanup drive

    River cleanups are a great way to protect the rivers from toxic pollution and make them a safer place for fish. You can bring along large trash bags and some pairs of gloves for collecting garbage near the river. You can also take a boat to reach trash in the middle of the river.

  2. Try out a new water sport

    Playing water sports is a great way to improve your mental and physical health. Moreover, it allows you to spend some peaceful time in the open air with your family and friends. Canoeing and rafting are some popular water sports that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

  3. Arrange a riverside community meet-up

    Contact local paddlers, recycling societies, and environmentalists for a small meetup. By arranging such events, everyone gets a chance to explore their local river heritage and discuss ways of how to protect it from the adverse effects of climate change and urbanization.

5 Facts About Kayaking That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Early kayaks were made of whalebone

    Whalebones were used to build kayaks and fish fat made them waterproof.

  2. Kayaking was part of the Olympics Games

    Kayaking was introduced at the Olympic Games in 1936.

  3. Thousands of paddlers visited the Pigeon River

    In 2003, more than 60,000 paddlers visited the Pigeon River.

  4. Kayaks were originally made for hunters

    The literal meaning of the word kayak is ‘hunter's boat.’

  5. Kayaking is way older than you think

    The world's first kayak was built 4,000 years ago.

Why We Love National Rivers Month

  1. Rivers promote a healthy lifestyle

    To stay fit and healthy, it's important to spend time outdoors in the fresh air and open areas along rivers. Sadly, many communities don’t have access to outdoor recreation areas. By providing access to recreational activities near rivers, communities can learn to appreciate the scenic beauty of crystal clear rivers.

  2. Protected rivers minimize water filtration costs

    Protected rivers play a key role in providing water to locals that are safe to drink. Planned watersheds can provide filtered water to people, adjust water temperatures, and minimize flood risks.

  3. Rivers preserve nature

    Rivers provide food and shelter to numerous birds, fish, and animals. More than 80% of migrant species of birds and wildlife require riverside areas to survive. Wetlands serve several migratory birds as a place for breeding.

National Rivers Month dates

2024June 1Saturday
2025June 1Sunday
2026June 1Monday
2027June 1Tuesday
2028June 1Thursday
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