Media Advisory - Corporate teams paddle to protect wild rivers; Still time for forward thinking companies to join

Olympic canoeist Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny will join participating teams
for a nature-based scavenger hunt on land and canoe.

MONTREAL, June 7, 2016 /CNW/ - On June 16, employees from some of Canada's biggest companies will get out of the office and on to the water for WWF-Canada's inaugural River Quest Canoe Challenge in Laval, Que.

This friendly competition calls on companies, their leaders and employees to raise awareness and funds for WWF-Canada's freshwater conservation efforts, while strengthening employee engagement through WWF-Canada's Living Planet @ Work program.

Passionate about protecting Canada's remaining wild rivers, World Cup champion canoeist Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny will give participants a lesson and join the top fundraising team's crew.

There is still time for corporate teams and members of the public who want to take action to protect Canada's freshwater to register for this exciting challenge. Teams of 10 people per canoe are asked to raise $2,500 total or $250 each (minimum of $1,000 per canoe). Space is limited.

WHAT: River Quest Canoe Challenge is WWF-Canada's first-ever nature-based scavenger hunt for freshwater conservation.

WHO: 

  • David Miller, president and CEO, WWF-Canada
  • Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny, World Cup champion canoeist
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise, HP Inc., BNP Paribas, Canada Steamship Lines and BMO

WHERE: Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, Laval, Que.

WHEN: June 16 from 1:00 p.m. ET5:00 p.m. ET

Canada's freshwater: What's at stake:

Canada is home to 20 per cent of the world's freshwater supply. We depend on thousands of lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands to provide us with water to drink, grow our food, power our homes and businesses, and to connect deeply with nature.

Yet nearly every water ecosystem WWF-Canada has assessed as part of our Watershed Reports faces significant threats, which are already changing the ecological condition of Canada's rivers and watersheds. Since 1970, freshwater species have declined by 76 per cent – a rate of decline faster than that of marine and terrestrial species.

Gabriel Beauchesne-Sévigny, said:
"As a Canadian canoe athlete and Olympian, I can say with all honesty that I am the person I am today, because of Canadian rivers. Two decades of paddling has made me appreciate how fragile our freshwater resources truly are. I am forever grateful to live near the most amazing playgrounds imaginable and I want to help protect them. WWF-Canada is taking significant measures to guard our freshwater ecosystems and I'm honoured to be the spokesperson for the River Quest Canoe Challenge."

Charlie Atkinson, managing director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise Canada, said:
"At Hewlett Packard Enterprise Canada, we don't just talk corporate social responsibility, we live it every day. The drive to give back to the communities where we live and work runs deep among our employees. Participating in events such as the CN Tower Climb, the Polar Bear Dip and now the Canoe Challenge is a fun way for employees to engage with colleagues, while helping to make a positive contribution to the environment."

Kirk Jones, vice-president, sustainability, government and industry affairs of Canada Steamship Lines said:
"Canada Steamship Lines has been active on the St. Lawrence River for over 100 years and is committed to maintaining the health of this incredible national treasure. Taking part in employee engagement and fundraising activities like the River Quest Canoe Challenge is another meaningful way to help ensure our rivers continue to thrive, for the benefit of species and the communities that depend on them."

About World Wildlife Fund Canada
WWF-Canada creates solutions to the environmental challenges that matter most for Canadians. We work in places that are unique and ecologically important, so that nature, wildlife and people thrive together. Because we are all wildlife. For more info visit wwf.ca

About Living Planet @ Work: 
Living Planet @ Work, presented by RSA, was launched in 2011 to inspire, empower and engage environmentally minded employees to lead footprint reduction initiatives, sustainability awareness campaigns at work and build support for WWF's conservation efforts across Canada. Today, more than 1,200 champions from more than 900 companies use the program and are taking action for the good of business and the planet.

To register for the River Quest Canoe Challenge
Amy Castator, associate specialist employee engagement, acastator@wwfcanada.org, +1 416-489-8800 Ext. 7260

SOURCE WWF-Canada

For further information: Emily Vandermeer, communications specialist, evandermeer@wwfcanada.org, +1 416-489-4567 Ext. 7298 or 519-616-1556

RELATED LINKS
www.wwf.ca

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