Mark Angelo, CM OBC was born on March 14, 1951. He is a Canadian river conservationist, writer, speaker, teacher and also a rower. He is the founder and chairman of BC Rivers Day and World Rivers Day.
In 2009, Angelo was appointed as chairman of Rivers Institute at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and before that, he was the head of the old Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program at BCIT. Angelo has received an award, namely the Order of British Columbia and the Canadian Order in recognition of the river conservation efforts that he has done.
In the same year, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Simon Fraser University because of his services in doing river conservation both locally and globally.
Mark Angelo and his Contribution to the River
He is involved in a variety of conservation and river recovery initiatives including restoring river flows in heavily damaged cities such as Guichon Creek in Burnaby and Still Creek in the city of Vancouver. In early 2000, he was involved in cleaning Britannia Creek until finally in 2011 he could see salmon returning for the first time to the river after never seen for a century.
A few years ago, in September 1980, Angelo organized a massive cleaning of the Thompson River in the southern part of British Columbia. This event was later known as BC Rivers Day.
Then in 2005, Angelo helped prepare for the World River Day celebration, an annual event celebrated on the last Sunday in September. Today is celebrated by millions of people in more than 60 countries in the world.
Angelo has traveled to hundreds of rivers in the world including Zambezi, Nile, Mekong, Amazon, and Yangtze. For four years, from 2003 to 2007, he hosted the National Geographic online program, “Riverworld; personal journey to the wildest river in the world”.
A year later, in 2008, he launched his follow-up program, Wild Water, Wild Earth, with presentations across the North American mainland.
In 2011, he successfully conducted the Water for Life concert in Burnaby, BC, Canada which was also filmed by Global TV and aired as one of the main events. The program focuses on the importance of all rivers and the need to be good water keepers wherever we live. The origin of this event originated from his experience in the Omo River Valley in Ethiopia in 2010.
Mark Angelo and his Love for the River
Mark retired from BCIT in 2011 where he was awarded a lifetime achievement award from the BCIT Alumni and named Honorary Chair Emeritus from the BCIT Rivers Institute. That same year, he was awarded by the British Columbia Real Estate Foundation.
In 2012, Burnaby City honored Mark by naming the local river according to his name. In 2014, his name was at the Fraser River Hall of Fame at a gala event at the Fraser River Discovery Center and received Barsby awards for lifetime achievements, the highest award given by 40,000 members of the BC Wildlife Federation.
In 2015, Mark was named one of the largest modern explorers in Canada by Canadian Geographic. At the end of 2016, Mark completed the RiverBlue film, which recounted his three-year journey in which he discovered and documented the widespread pollution effects of the fashion industry. The film made was praised for raising public awareness about important issues because of his efforts to make the fashion industry more sustainable and ethical.
In the fall of 2017, Mark traveled along the Tijuana River from Mexico to California documenting the problem of cross-border pollution as the main subject. The news was a feature then won the Emmy Award 2018. Mark Angelo continued to support and guide the river conservation groups, as well as young people with an interest in river conservation.