CWF raises awareness about our waters during Rivers to Oceans Week

OTTAWA, June 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Rivers to Oceans Week (ROW), taking place between June 8 and 14, raises awareness about the importance of our country's waters and reminds us that safeguarding the health of all water flowing through our watersheds - from creeks to rivers - also improves the quality of Canada's oceans.

"Threats to Canada's aquatic species, including pollution, dams and diversions, climate change, oil exploration and drilling, over exploitation, aquatic-habitat destruction, invasive species and shoreline development, are putting our waters at risk," says Wade Luzny, Executive Vice-President of the Canadian Wildlife Federation.

During Rivers to Oceans Week 2010, CWF is putting a spotlight on the leatherback seaturtle, which is listed as endangered by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and critically endangered across the globe by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Due to threats such as habitat loss and degradation, incidental capture in fishing gear, climate change and pollution, the species has declined by more than 60 per cent in the last 30 years alone.

CWF's Endangered Species Program recently funded the Canadian Sea Turtle Network to determine the risk that commercial fishing gear poses to leatherback seaturtles in Nova Scotia waters. To date, the Network has the largest collection of leatherback seaturtle data in Canada. This research will be fundamental to conserving the turtles that travel from 12 different countries to feed in northern Atlantic waters.

The program has also funded "Discover Leatherbacks," a classroom program developed by the B.C. Cetacean Sightings Network, which introduces students in grades three to seven to the sea turtles that pass through British Columbia's waters, the threats that affect these species and practical stewardship actions that can reduce these threats and conserve marine ecosystems.

CWF will bring Rivers to Oceans Week to the Eureka Festival from June 11 to 13, in the Old Port of Montreal. Drawing attention to our endangered aquatic species, CWF will show how our everyday activities are affecting this important part of Canada's biodiversity.

To learn more, visit RiverstoOceans.ca or CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Wildlife Federation

For further information: For further information: Pamela Logan, Cell: (613) 222-1405, pamelal@cwf-fcf.org

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