An Update from the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup (DRCC)
Please be advised that in accordance with public health guidelines, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup's office is closed until further notice, but we are continuing our operations by phone and email. The Remedial Action Plan Coordinator and Assistant are working remotely from home and can be reached at 519-982-3722 or

For now, the Essex Region Conservation Authority's conservation areas remain open for passive use, however, indoor facilities such as bathrooms at the conservation areas are closed. Please ensure that when using these conservation areas you obey proper physical distancing measures such as staying at least 2 m away from each other. 
Visitors must carry out their own garbage. Conservation area usage is monitored to ensure these guidelines are being followed so that ERCA can safely continue to offer these important natural areas for physical and mental health. However, if overcrowding becomes an issue, Conservation Areas may be required to close.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the DRCC has unfortunately had to cancel and postpone some of our upcoming events. More information can be found below. 
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this difficult situation as a community. Please take care of yourselves and your families. We look forward to seeing you soon at our events once it is deemed safe to do so by public health experts.

All the best,

Jacqueline Serran Gina Pannunzio
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Remedial Action Plan Assistant 
Happy 50th Anniversary of Earth Day!

Amid the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, Earth Day Network, the global organizer of Earth Day, will mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with the first Digital Earth Day, a global digital mobilization on April 22 to address the most urgent threats to people and the planet. 

The global conversation will be unified and tracked by the shared hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EARTHRISE. Earth Day Network will provide live coverage of the global digital mobilizations from its social media accounts (@earthdaynetwork). Plans are also underway to develop a major global event, coordinated across digital platforms to mark the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22. 

Other digital events will include virtual protests, social media campaigns, online teach-ins and more. A full scope of digital actions will be available at
Earth Day Community Tree Planting

The Earth Day Community Tree Planting event, scheduled for Sunday April 26 2020 has been cancelled and will be postponed until October. We will share more details about this once they are available. However, keep an eye on ERCA's Facebook page for emerging details about their virtual Earth Day initiatives. 
Introducing the Detroit River Coalition
For the first time in the history of the Detroit River, a group of passionate environmental organizations on both the Canadian and American sides of the Detroit River have come together to form the Detroit River Coalition (DRC). The Detroit River Coalition is made up of several river and tributary facing organizations from Michigan and Ontario that work together to promote the appreciation and conservation of the diverse natural heritage of the Detroit River from a binational and watershed perspective.  
The coalition is made up of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, Belle Isle Conservancy, Green Living Science, Friends of the Detroit River, Friends of the Rouge Watershed, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources on the American side, and the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup and Essex Region Conservation Authority on the Canadian side of the river.

Visit for more information.

We're Social!
Twitter: @DetRivCoalition

The DRC's first planned event was to be the Great Global Cleanup: Detroit River, which was scheduled for April 25, 2020. Amid the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic and in solidarity with communities around the world, this event has been cancelled. We will continue planning our next Great Global Cleanup event scheduled for April 2021. Stay tuned!
eEarth Day

The DRC would like to celebrate Earth Day virtually with YOU! We challenge you to choose one single-use plastic item that you use frequently and make the switch to recycled or reusable items. We invite you to celebrate the small actions we can take that TOGETHER will have big environmental impact. 

Connect with us online and join us in uniting with individuals and organizations world-wide by participating in our eEarthDay initiative. PLEDGE and refuse one form of disposable, single use plastic and swap it out with a reusable alternative.  
Detroit River Colouring Pages  

Check out these amazing colouring pages highlighting plants, wildlife and scenes of the Detroit River! We have quite a few available to download here.

If you want to share your artwork, take a photo of your work and send to us via We will share them on social media!
DRCC Presents: A Plastic Ocean 

The audience heard from a panel of experts on plastic pollution, recycling, and reducing waste, including Heather Taylor from Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority who is a specialist in waste diversion, Mercedes Lavoy, a PhD student from University of Windsor, studying the movement and removal of microplastics through wastewater treatment plants, an d Kelly Laforest from Caesars Windsor who implements company initiatives to reduce waste and conserve energy and water.  
Thank you to all who came out to learn about the consequences of plastic in our waterways.
Fishing survey underway
We're interested in knowing what fish people catch and eat from the Detroit River. Your input will provide valuable information to Detroit River Canadian Cleanup (DRCC) staff to help guide future research, education and outreach, monitoring and remediation efforts in the Detroit River and its watershed. 

Participants will receive a $5 Tim Horton's gift card (while supplies last) for their time. Take the survey now!
Annual gizzard shad die off
The annual gizzard shad die off in the Detroit River typically takes place in late winter or early spring. If you see a large number of dead gizzard shad in the river, do not be alarmed. This fish is very sensitive to temperature changes in the water and large die offs are a common annual occurrence. This is considered a natural event and there is no need to contact anyone if in fact the species is Gizzard Shad.

More Information
Fact Sheet
Celeron Island habitat restoration complete
Celeron Island Habitat Project. Credit - Friends of the Detroit River.
Our friends at the Friends of the Detroit River have completed their habitat restoration at Celeron Island in the Detroit River. Celeron Island is comprised of sixty-eight, uninhabited acres at the mouth of the Detroit River near Lake Erie. It is owned entirely by the State of Michigan and is managed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) through the Pointe Mouillee Game Area. This area of the Detroit River serves as one of the most important spawning areas for western Lake Erie. 

To address the severe erosion problem at the south end of Celeron Island, construction of off-shore emergent shoals were constructed to reduce energy of incoming waves from Lake Erie and wind derived seiche activity, allowing for regeneration of the island's outer shoreline emergent vegetation. These shoals will also create additional fish habitat and provide a protected area for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds. In addition, a  depressed area was created to provide deeper water habitat.

Overall, the project created :
  • 2,500 linear feet of habitat shoals
  • 900 linear feet of nesting beach shoal
  • 500 linear feet of habitat shoreline
Invasive Species Highlight
Asian Carp Information Session

The DRCC attended the Asian Carp information session hosted by the Invasive Species Centre in Windsor early March. A presentation was provided by Fisheries and Oceans Canada on early detection and response followed by an expert panel discussion with representatives from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Invasive Species Centre, and more!
The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee has released the 2020 Asian Carp Action plan. This updated plan incorporates aggressive new prevention and control efforts to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carps such as:
  • expanded Asian carp population reduction measures along established fronts
  • large-scale field trials of potential barriers and deterrent technologies
  • actions to address the growing black and grass carp threats
Learn more and read the updated action plan here.
Zebra mussels. Photo credit:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Zebra Mussels

Zebra mussles are an invasive species to the Great Lakes, and have existed here since the late 1980's.

Click here to read a GREAT LAKES NOW article written by Natasha Blakely describing the destructive impacts of this invasive species to sailing, shipping, native mussles dying out, challenges for native fish spawning, recreation values and beaches, food web and more.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!   
The Detroit River and Great Lakes in the news. Here are some links to articles that may pique your interest. Click the link to read on.  

The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup is a partnership between government, industry, academics, as well as environmental and community organizations that work together to improve the Detroit River ecosystem through a Remedial Action Plan. Our goal is to remove the Detroit River from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern.