Take me to the river © LeonU/Getty Images
Today we"re recognizing World Rivers Day—a conservation event that branched off in 2005 from its source, BC Rivers Day, founded near this British Columbia river"s banks 40 years ago today. The Fraser River flows through a showcase of this Canadian province"s diverse landscape: It originates in the Rocky Mountains, carves steep valleys through central BC, and irrigates rich farmlands outside Vancouver before spilling into the sea just south of the city. The river flows gently in this stretch, as seen from the span of the Port Mann Bridge east of Vancouver, with the Golden Ears mountains in the background. Thanks to preservation efforts, the Fraser"s main stem remains completely undammed, with its drainage basin covering 25% of BC"s land area.