In accordance with public health guidelines, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup (DRCC) office remains partially closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should you need to reach the DRCC, we can be reached via e-mail or telephone at (519) 982-3722.
Have your say on plankton populations in the river!
Plankton are small organisms that live in water and are grouped into three general categories: phytoplankton, zooplankton and microbes. Phytoplankton and zooplankton populations make up the base of the aquatic food web and are an important food source for fish. Plankton are very sensitive to changes in water quality and, as a result, can give clues about the overall health of an aquatic environment.

In the Detroit River, insufficient data on the status of the phytoplankton and zooplankton populations led to research studies, including a comprehensive study in 2019 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Study results indicate that phytoplankton and zooplankton populations are naturally low in the Detroit River due to expected river conditions, not human activities. Therefore, there is no evidence of impairment to the plankton populations in the Detroit River and a “not impaired” status is being recommended by the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup.  

We are seeking public input on our recommendation. To read the report and fact sheet that support the recommendation and to comment, visit our website. We expect the comment form to take no longer than 5 minutes to complete. All comments received will be reviewed and addressed by the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup. The deadline to submit comments is December 31, 2020. If you have any questions or concerns please contact Jacqueline Serran at or at 519-776-5209 ext. 356.
Have your say at our Phytoplankton and Zooplankton Virtual Open House
You're invited! The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup is recommending changing the status of the Degradation of Phytoplankton and Zooplankton populations beneficial use impairment (BUI) from ‘requires further assessment’ to ‘not impaired’.

Join us on Thursday December 3 2020 from 6pm to 7pm as we host a virtual open house to share research relating to this Detroit River issue and share your comments with DRCC staff and research scientists.

Register for the December 3, 2020 Open House here.
Construction of the Peche Island project has begun!
Peche Island has been eroding at a rapid pace due to strong river currents and heavy wave action from Great Lakes freighter traffic. The erosion of the island has caused large chunks of land to fall into the river and it is estimated that Peche Island has decreased in area by 17 acres from 1931 to 2015. The primary objective of this project is to create a revetment on the northeast side of Peche Island and a series of off-shore sheltering islands in the water lot to the north side of the Peche Island to protect from further erosion. The proposed off-shore islands on the north side of the island will also create a calm water embayment that will offer fish refuge and the opportunity for aquatic vegetation to establish. In time, this embayment area is anticipated to provide valuable aquatic habitat to local fish and wildlife. This project was made possible through funding and cooperation from our project partners - City of Windsor, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Swim Drink Fish, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Construction of the project began in mid-October. Check out the video of the project being constructed below.
Environmental Assessment for the Ojibway Parkway Wildlife Crossing
A few days remain to provide input on the City of Windsor's Ojibway Parkway Wildlife Crossing Class Environmental Assessment. The purpose of this study is to identify opportunities to provide safe passage for area wildlife and species at risk and create landscape connectivity in the Ojibway Prairie Complex.

The Class Environmental Assessment process requires that various reasonable solutions shall be identified and evaluated to identify a preferred solution. For this study, an evaluation of alternative solutions was conducted, which identified a Preferred Solution being a Wildlife Overpass (North Option). To review all of the information provided in the Public Information Centre #1 – Virtual Consultation Platform please click here.

Resources included in the virtual consultation include display boards, presentation slides, maps and renderings, project documentation, video/animation of preferred solution and a comment form to submit feedback. Comments are due by December 3 2020.

Image caption: Artist rendering of a wildlife passage for Ojibway Parkway by Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions. (Provided by the City of Windsor).
Conservation Matters - Proposed Changes to Conservation Authority (CA) Act raise concerns.
On November 5, 2020, the provincial government tabled Bill 229 Protect, Support, and Recover from COVID-19 Act (Budget Measures), 2020. This piece of legislation encompasses more than just a budget in response to COVID-19. It includes significant changes to the Conservation Authorities Act.

How You Can Help

There are many partners across the Province of Ontario who are also concerned about the impact of these proposed changes. If you would like to learn more about the proposed changes, you can view this presentation hosted by the Canadian Environmental Law Association. You can also send a letter to the Minister of the Environment through Ontario Nature with your thoughts on the proposed changes.
Great Lakes Protection Initiative Funding
Through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, the Government of Canada takes action to address the most significant environmental challenges affecting Great Lakes water quality and ecosystem health by delivering on Canada’s commitments under the Canada-United States Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. 

We are extremely grateful for the funding for restoring the Detroit River through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative. Successfully funded projects include the Detroit River Fish Habitat Creation and Wetland Restoration, Detroit River Remedial Action Plan Governance, Community Engagement of Aamjiwnaang First Nation in the Restoration of Beneficial Uses and Decision Making for the St. Clair and Detroit River Areas of Concern, and Community Engagement of Caldwell First Nation in the Restoration of Beneficial Uses and Decision Making for the Detroit River Area of Concern.
Environmental Excellence to be Awarded
Essex Region Conservation is seeking nominees who have made an environment impact in the Place for Life! “In this difficult and uncertain year, it’s more important than ever to celebrate those who are making important strides in environmental protection,” says Danielle Breault Stuebing, Director of Communications and Outreach Services. “During the height of the pandemic when nearly everything was closed, we heard over and over how important conservation areas and trails were to maintaining mental and physical health. This certainly highlights that while there is much we can live without, our need for nature is paramount.”

The 2020 Conservation Awards will honour and recognize those in the community who have made outstanding contributions towards improving our natural environment, sustaining and enriching the Essex Region as the Place for Life. “Past award winners have created monarch butterfly habitat, been involved in restoration projects, inspired and engaged others to climate action, and so much more,” Breault Stuebing adds. The annual Awards will be presented to individuals and organizations in four categories: the Youth Award, Education Award, Volunteer Award and the Environmental Achievement Award.
Dates worth mentioning
International Volunteer Day - December 5, 2020
Volunteers are leading social change around the world. This special day promotes the work of volunteers at all levels, including local, national and international. We can't thank our volunteers, past and present, enough for their help!
Youth Climate Action Day - December 5, 2020
On Climate Action Day you can come together for action if you feel concerned about climate change and global injustice: Tree planting, upcycling, workshops on a plastic free lifestyle or discussions about e-mobility, whatever is on your mind…
Become part of this worldwide movement and show the world what young people can achieve.
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.  
Upcoming events 
Save the date for these great local events! Contact event organizers for more information and to learn more about COVID-19 precautions at the event.
Saturday, December 12, 2020, Point Pelee National Park Visitor's Centre, 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington ON, 7:30 PM - 11:59 PM
Explore the park on your own after dark and experience the dark skies of Point Pelee. You will have the opportunity to stay late and see what goes on after dark. Note that there are no formal programs on these evenings. Visitors can pick up a seasonal star chart at the gate upon arrival. The park is open until midnight, unless otherwise stated.

For more information please contact
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.