DRCC releases its 2018-2019 annual report
The report outlines the progress made towards cleaning the river, our research and restoration efforts, and community events we participated in. To learn more about the many projects that took place over the last year, download the DRCC annual report  here !
Algal blooms in Western Lake Erie Basin
by Dr. Katie Stammler, Water Quality Scientist, Essex Region Conservation Authority
Each year, the western basin of Lake Erie experiences a Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) during the summer months. There is a known relationship between the amount of phosphorus (the nutrient that feeds algal growth) that reaches Lake Erie from April-June and the severity of the HAB the following summer. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) releases weekly HAB bulletins from May to October. In the spring, these reports use the total phosphorus load from the Maumee River to predict the severity of the upcoming HAB, and in the summer months, the bulletins provide information on the current and predicted status of the HAB for the following week. NOAA releases a final season summary in late October.
On June 20, 2019, NOAA released their final predictive bulletin, and on July 11, 2019, they announced their final prediction for the 2019 HAB season. This year's HAB was predicted to have a severity of 7.5 on a 10-point scale with a possible range between 6 and 9. The severity index is an indication of the total amount of algae (biomass), not the toxicity of the bloom. There is currently no method to predict the toxicity of the HAB. Although there was a lot of rain this spring, the amount of total biologically available phosphorus (TBP) was less than expected based on the known relationship between the river discharge (flow rate) and nutrient load. Some scientists are theorizing that might have had something to do with a necessary, but unplanned change in fertilizer application because of the late 2018 harvest and the amount of spring rain in 2019 that delayed planting, which resulted in less TBP applied and therefore leaving the fields during the critical spring-time window. 
NOAA released it's seasonal assessment on October 31, 2019, stating that the 2019 bloom had a severity index of 7.3 (very close to what they predicted!).  This is considered to be a relatively severe bloom (compared to a 3.6 in 2018, but not as bad as 2011 or 2015).  The bloom developed quickly and reached its peak in August with maximum areal coverage of 700 square miles.  Thanks to the high winds in September, the bloom dissipated by early October. Check out NOAA's website for more information or to sign up for their bulletins here.

While the Detroit River itself doesn't experience Harmful Algal Blooms, it is a conduit for phosphorus from its watershed and other sources upstream. The phosphorus delivered by the Detroit River is a contributing factor to HABs in the western basin of Lake Erie and also to hypoxia (low oxygen) in the central basin of Lake Erie. In addition to the HAB in Lake Erie, there was once again a persistent HAB on the southern shores of Lake St.Clair, which impacts recreational beach use and results in extra effort to treat drinking water in parts of Essex County, Ontario. The Thames River in Ontario also experienced a HAB in September, which is only the second time the River itself has had a bloom.
State of the Strait 2019 recap
The 2019 State of the Strait conference was held at the University of Windsor on November 19, 2019. The  State of the Strait is a binational collaboration that meets every two years to bring together governments, managers, researchers, students, organizations and citizens to work together to achieve a better future for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie. The conference this year focused on the status and trends of ecosystem health indicators. More than 200 people attended the conference and the day consisted of expert panels focused on eutrophication and algal blooms, climate change, biological health, and habitat. As a result of the meeting, an indicator report is expected to be released for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie in July 2020. The event was live tweeted, so you can see the highlights from the day on Twitter using #DetroitRiverSoS2019.

Stay tuned for more information on the indicators report and c
heck out these news articles that highlight the day:

Water quality improvements for the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers
Climate change, year of flood watches storms Detroit River conference
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!
Draft bi-national screening criteria for nominated chemicals of mutual concern available for public review
The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) commits Canada and the United States to prepare and issue Binational Strategies to reduce the release and impact of Chemicals of Mutual Concern (CMCs). The draft Binational Screening Criteria for Nominated CMCs is now available for public review on binational.net. These draft screening criteria were developed to provide a consistent framework for reviewing nominated CMCs under the GLWQA
The period for interested agencies, organizations, and individuals to provide comments on the draft binational screening criteria is from November 15, 2019 to December 16, 2019.    
DRAFT Binational Screening Criteria for Nominated Chemicals of Mutual Concern (PDF)
Kindly use the Contact Us page to direct your submissions and questions by December 16, 2019.
More information on the Chemicals of Mutual Concern can be found here.
Environmental Excellence to be Awarded
Essex Region Conservation is seeking nominees who have made an environment impact in the Place for Life! The 2019 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.   

Nominations can be submitted online, or nominators can simply write a one page summary of the individual or organizational accomplishments that merit the receipt of the award.  Nominations close on Friday, December 13, 2019. For more information please click here.
Essex Region Source Protection Committee seeking candidates
The Essex Region Source Protection Committee was created Under Ontario Regulation 288/07, Clean Water Act, 2006 to develop a Source Protection Plan to protect drinking water sources in the Essex Region. The SPC evaluates the implementation of the Source Protection Plan and oversees amendments to the Assessment Report, Source Protection Plan. The SPC is made up of members in three sectors: municipal, economic and other interests. Due date is December 9, 2019. Read more and to apply, click here.
Have your say 
The City of Windsor released their  2019 Draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Climate Change Impacts in Windsor - A Technical Document. These items are tabled for public comment until January 20, 2020, and any comments can be sent to [email protected].
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 the organizers for more information. 
Jack Miner Country Christmas
December 6-8 2019 , Jack Miner, 332 Road 3 West, Kingsville, ON
Jack Miner's Country Christmas is a great way to get into the Christmas spirit! Have your picture taken on Friday night and enjoy live music and goodies in the Clubhouse from 530-8pm. Saturday and Sunday visit the Sanctuary from 12-4pm each day, shop in the gift shop for gifts or enjoy the decorations and a hot cup of apple cider! 
Christmas in the Country
December 8 2019, 12pm to 4pm, John R. Park Homestead, 915 Essex County Road, Essex, ON 
See the Homestead in its holiday splendour. The pioneer house and grounds are decorated with materials gathered from the farm and forest. Warm up with mulled cider and roasted chestnuts. Meet St. Nicholas' historic counterparts, Ruprecht and Belsnickel. Check the 'list' to see if you have been naughty or nice this year. Make a gingerbread cookie and traditional ornament to take home. Admission is $6.00 for adults, $4.00 for children (age 3 to 16), $20.00 family maximum. For more information click here.
Candlelight Christmas
December 10 2019, 7p m to 9pm, John R. Park Homestead, 915 Essex County Road, Essex, ON
See the 1842 house decorated with natural materials from forest and farm, craft a traditional ornament, bake on the hearth, and ring the sleigh bells. Costumed guides will take visitors through the house and farm after sundown. Various stops along the way offer guests a seasonal participation experience straight from the days of John and Amelia Park.
December 17 2019 ,   Point Pelee National Park, 1118 Point Pelee Dr, Leamington, ON
Started in 1900, the Christmas Bird Count is the longest running citizen science program in North America. Each year, volunteers from across the continent gather to count as many individuals and species as they can during their designated count period.  Volunteers will spend the entire day in the field, looking for birds, learning about the habitats they use in winter, and joining with others for some fun along the way. No experience is necessary, but participants will be expected to spend most of the day outside. At the end of the day, participants will gather at the Visitor Centre for a chili dinner, hosted by the Friends of Point Pelee, and to compile the results of the day's effort.
Participants must register by Friday, December 13, 2019. Call 519-322-2365 ext 0 or email  [email protected] to register or for more information.
December 28 2019 , 7pm to 12 pm,  Point Pelee National Park, 1118 Point Pelee Dr, Leamington, ON
Join members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Windsor Centre for an evening of stargazing. Bring your own binoculars or take a look through one of the special telescopes on site for the evening. The park is open until midnight, unless otherwise stated. Visitor Centre Parking Lot. Admission is free with admission to the park.  For more information please contact the organizers at  [email protected] .

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.