Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Celebrates Thirty Years of Progress with New Story Map!
A new interactive mapping tool that shows the cleanup story of the Detroit River is now available to explore! Remediation efforts on the Canadian side in the Detroit River include contaminated sediment removal, habitat restoration, municipal and industrial wastewater infrastructure upgrades, non-point source pollution management, as well as a suite of ongoing studies, research, education and outreach.  

The Story Map highlights all the projects undertaken by the many organizations, groups and individuals that come together under the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup umbrella.  
To explore the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup's Story Map visit . 

Happy World Wetlands Day!
Today we celebrate urban wetlands for making cities liveable!
play a significant role in the Detroit River watershed by providing places for many species to rest, feed and breed. They also help minimize erosion along the banks and shorelines of the river. Wetlands act as water filters by removing nutrients and sediments from runoff, help stabilize the water table and the local climate as well as offer recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, bird-watching and exploring.

Many organizations, agencies, and private landowners partner to help to protect and restore coastal wetland habitat in priority areas of the Detroit River such as the marshes in Canard River, Turkey Creek, along the channel and on Fighting and Peche Islands.  
Funding available under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative and the EcoAction Community Funding Program   
Great Lakes Protection Initiative
Through the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, Environment and Climate Change 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.
To help achieve this goal, the Environment and Climate Change Canada is making funding available to support action by others to:
Applications are now being accepted until March 15, 2018. Applications for projects that support the engaging Indigenous Peoples priority will be accepted until March 30, 2018.
To learn more about these funding opportunities and how to apply, please visit
For general information on the Great Lakes Protection Initiative, please visit
EcoAction Community Funding Program
Environment and Climate Change Canada's (ECCC) EcoAction Community Funding Program is now accepting applications for funding until March 21, 2018, for projects beginning summer 2018.  
Funding is available for new projects that engage Canadians and clearly demonstrate measurable, positive environmental results related to water or climate change. 
T o learn more about the 2018 EcoAction Community Funding Program call for proposals, please join us for a webinar on Thursday, February 15th at 1:00 pm EST. Click here for more information and registration (required).  
Lower Detroit River Important Bird Area Counts  
As caretakers of the Lower Detroit River IBA, members of the Essex
County Field Naturalists' C lub were out along river on January 13 and again on January 27 to participate in the first international IBA count.  
January 13th was a cold, windy morning but 2,500 Canvasbacks were seen in one large raft at the river mouth, just south of Boblo Island. It was impressive to see them take flight in front of a large ice breaker. O n January 27th, with warmer temperatures and more open water, Canadian participants recorded over 17,000 Canvasbacks at the mouth of the river! This was also the first ever bi-national count with volunteers from the Detroit Audubon Society counting from the Michigan side of the
river simultaneously. 

The globally significant Lower Detroit River IBA, which extends from the north end of Fighting Island to the mouth at Lake Erie, is important for large congregations of birds and waterfowl. Big thanks to Jeremy Hatt and the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club for organizing the counts and collecting this important data. 
Essex Region Conservation Honours Award Winners
Eight organizations and individuals were honoured with Essex Region Conservation Awards for their efforts in making the Windsor/Essex/Pelee Island region the Place for Life.
"It's always inspiring to learn more about those who have made tangible contributions to our regional environment," said Chair Rick Fryer.  "There are so many actions being taken to sustain our region as the Place for Life, and it is a privilege to celebrate them." The honourees included two members of DRCC committees:   
  • Peter Berry, Harbor Master, Windsor Port Authority
    was presented with an Education Award for engaging the local community to improve the health of the Detroit River and the lands that surround it. In his own words, we must 'respect the Detroit River for what it provides to all of us and take the time to teach the youth its heritage and importance to our future. With understanding the importance comes a commitment to protect it.'
  • Dr. Doug Haffner, Professor, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research was presented with an Environmental Achievement Award for decades of mentoring students, teaching the next generation of scientists, and conducting significant research that supports the management of Canada's Great Lakes. Doug helped to establish the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Committee, representing GLIER on the Steering Committee, and was co-chair of the Monitoring & Research Work Group and for many years where he ensured a scientifically sound, ecosystem approach to the clean up effort.
A full copy of ERCA's Annual Report and corresponding video, as well as the Conservation Award Winners, can be found at .
BASF's Fighting Island certified gold by Wildlife Habitat Council
North end of Fighting Island looking to lower Detroit River.
WYANDOTTE, MI, January 3, 2018 - BASF received gold certification by the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) for its innovative programs and practices on Fighting Island.

There are three tiers to the WHC certification process, with gold being the highest tier. Companies receiving gold certification showcase leadership in their conservation efforts, while also demonstrating long-term commitment to managing quality habitat for wildlife, and providing conservation education and community outreach initiatives.

Owned by BASF, Fighting Island is a 1,500-acre island on the Canadian side of the Detroit River in LaSalle, Ontario. The island was historically used for storage of lime tailings, a byproduct of soda ash production, in settling beds. Since closing the settling beds in 1982, BASF's efforts have led to native revegetation and reforestation to help prevent erosion, reduce dust, increase wildlife habitat, control runoff, and enhance the island's appearance.

Since 2004, BASF, in conjunction with Essex County schools, turned the island into an outdoor classroom, providing a hands-on learning environment that has hosted more than 30,000 students from the local community. Each educational program relates to one of the island's habitats and encourages students to use problem solving and critical thinking skills. Additionally, four portable classrooms, equipped with monitoring equipment and microscopes, provide an environmental lab for students.

"It's wonderful to see that BASF's work on Fighting Island has added value to the community while preserving and enriching the environment for wildlife," said Mark Pellow, BASF Wyandotte's Facility Service Manager.

The BASF Wyandotte site combines environmental protection, social responsibility and educational outreach to continuously improve Fighting Island.
New Conservation Authorities Act Will Help to Build Stronger Environment
Conservation Authorities are pleased to see the Province take a bold step to ensure more resiliency across Ontario watersheds through the passage of Bill 139 which includes a new Conservation Authorities Act (CA Act).
The modernizing of this 1946 legislation provides the foundation for Conservation Authorities to strengthen their watershed management role and also develop a more defined role around climate change adaptation.
Project on Local History at the University of Windsor 
Through the use of technology, the Detroit River Border Region Digital History Project aims to encourage the development of new models of historical scholarship and new approaches to teaching the history of southwest Ontario and southeast Michigan. The Project also aspires to reach this goal through cross-border and multidisciplinary collaborations, as well as through enhanced connections with the community.The website is not online yet, but there is a Facebook page:
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!   
The Detroit River 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 organizer for more information. 
Shiver on the River
Saturday February 3, 2018, 10am to 3pm, Belle Isle, MI.   
Friends of the Detroit River invites you to have some Family Fun on Belle Isle! Free admission!

Main Event held at the Casino Building:
~ Exhibits, Displays and Refreshments
~ Marshmallow Roasting at the Aquarium
~ Environmental  Arts and Crafts for Kids
~ Pancake Breakfast at the Flynn Pavilon (fee)
~ Live Entertainment: Bob Kat Caricatures, Children's Magician  
Contact   Friends of Detroit River for more information. 
Essex County Field Naturalists' Club Member Meeting
Wednesday February 14, 2018, 7pm to 9pm, Ojibway Nature Centre. 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor.   
Gina Pannunzio, the Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator with Essex Region Conservation will share information on the coastal wetland habitat restoration project taking place in Leamington in partnership with Caldwell First Nation. Formerly an abandoned marina in Sturgeon Creek, the area will be restored to provide terrestrial and coastal wetland habitat. The Sturgeon Creek Wetland project helps to improve water quality and provide much needed wetland habitat as part of the Lake Erie watershed.
Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee Meeting
Thursday February 15, 2018, 9am to 11am. Belle Isle Nature Zoo, Flynn Pavilion - Near Intersection of Picnic Way & Loiter Way, Belle Isle, Detroit, MI, 48207
Please see website link for past agendas, meeting minutes, and additional information here.  
Stewardship Saturday
Saturday February 17, 2018, 9am to 12pm. Meet on Central Avenue, just east of Portage Way. FYI, this street is listed as Meadow Rd in Google Maps.  
Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for Stewardship Saturdays. For questions or more information please email Laurel Malvitz-Draper, DNR Resource Steward for the Stewardship Unit at

The DRCC initiative 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 main goal is to remove the River from the list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern.