In accordance with public health guidelines, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup (DRCC) office remains 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.
Happy World Wetlands Day!
World Wetlands Day (WWD) is on February 2, 2021 and is an annual opportunity to raise global awareness on the value of wetlands, celebrate wetlands’ diverse services to humanity and nature, and trigger action locally, nationally, internationally to save the world’s wetlands.

The ‘ecosystem services’ – the benefits people obtain from ecosystems – provided by wetlands include:
  • Flood control
  • Groundwater replenishment
  • Shoreline stabilization & storm protection
  • Sediment & nutrient retention and export
  • Water purification
  • Reservoirs of biodiversity
  • Wetland products
  • Cultural values
  • Recreation & tourism
  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation

The 2021 theme of WWD is Wetlands and Water. We are in a growing water crisis that threatens people and our planet. We use more water than nature can replenish, and are destroying the ecosystem that water and all life depend on most - Wetlands.
Recent Wetland Research on the Detroit River
Researchers from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada assessed the habitat condition of selected wetland and nearshore areas in the Detroit River Area of Concern using fish Indices of Biotic Integrity (IBI). IBIs are a key tool for the assessment of fish and wildlife populations and habitats. These indices integrate complex ecological or community data into a single metric or score that can more easily be tracked and understood. For the purposes of this research, the Detroit River wetland fish IBI scores were compared to fish IBI scores from the Walpole Island Delta (reference site or relatively pristine site). Based on the fish IBI, there is no evidence that sites in the Detroit River Area of Concern are different from those in the Walpole Island Delta.
Essex Region Conservation Honours Conservation Award Winners
Dr Ken Drouillard Detroit River_Windsor Taken by Dax Melmer, Windsor Star
On January 21 2020, eight organizations and individuals were honoured with Essex Region Conservation Awards for their commitment to the local environment.

Congratulations to all of the award winners this year!

The DRCC would like to give special recognition to the following three award winners for their work in protecting the Great Lakes and restoring the Detroit River.

Emily Browne – Youth Award to this University of Windsor Environmental Science student, Youth Environment Ambassador, and How-To-Crew member, who helps to ensure the quality of community restoration projects across the region.   

Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre (FREC) – Education Award for ground-breaking research while engaging the public in Great Lakes biodiversity education. It aims to better understand key stressors and threats to our freshwater biodiversity like climate change, habitat alteration, and urbanization, and engages an integrated team of high school student volunteers, undergraduate and graduate students, youth and elders from Walpole Island First Nation, and the public in this educational work. 
Dr. Ken Drouillard – Environmental Achievement as a professor with the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research who trains the next generation of aquatic biologists. His expertise is used to assess Great Lakes water and sediment quality, inform beneficial use impairments to the Detroit River, and bridge the science-to-practice gap to ensure our food and water are safer. Current research includes tracking COVID-19 in wastewater, and researching the best practices for reusable masks to keep healthcare workers safe. 

Funding Available for Restoring Great Lakes Areas of Concern
Environment and Climate Change Canada launched a call for applications under the Great Lakes Protection Initiative for the Areas of Concern funding priority. Applications are now being accepted until 11:59 p.m. eastern on March 3, 2021.
To learn more about this funding opportunity and how to apply, click here.
Environment and Climate Change Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program
Environment and Climate Change Canada's EcoAction Community Funding Program is now accepting applications for funding until March 3, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. PST / 3:00 p.m. EST for projects beginning summer 2021.

Funding is available for new projects that engage Canadians and clearly demonstrate measurable, positive results related to the key Environmental Priority: Fresh Water.

Your project must link to one of the related Priority Results:

  • Canadians contribute to the improvement of water quality through the diversion and reduction of harmful substances in Freshwater.
  • Canadians contribute to the improvement of Freshwater management and increase climate resilience through action involving the development and/or restoration of natural infrastructure.

Preference will be given to proposals that engage Indigenous Peoples, youth or small businesses. All proposals must fully meet program requirements.
Creating a Canada Water Agency
The Government of Canada is creating a new Canada Water Agency to work together with the provinces, territories, Indigenous communities, local authorities, scientists and others to find the best ways to keep our water safe, clean and well-managed.

The Government of Canada is looking for your input on the Canada Water Agency. The Canada Water Agency Discussion Paper, “Toward the Creation of a Canada Water Agency,” is now available. The Discussion Paper presents key issues for consideration in the Government of Canada's approach to creating a Canada Water Agency.

Have your say! The Discussion Paper contains a series of discussion issues accompanied by a set of questions. To provide your responses to these questions, use our online survey tool. Input will be accepted until March 1, 2021. Feedback can also be sent directly by email to or by regular mail.

Feedback on this Discussion Paper will inform the Government’s next steps in implementing the commitment to create a Canada Water Agency.
Windsor Assembly Plant's Coping with COVID: Environmental Artwork Contest
Stress Bust Using Your Creativity!

Our friends at the Windsor Assembly Plant are hosting an art contest! Please see the details below.

The contest is open to all Windsor Assembly Plant employees (hourly, salary or contractor).  

Families and friends of employees are welcome to participate. Four community hours per project will be given to students. Four project submissions can be submitted per student. Double credits will be given for art featuring the genus of trees we have here at WAP including maples, oaks and/or cedars! There will also be door prizes for employees.

All environmentally themed art forms are accepted. Photography, painting, sculpting, music (send photos of the lyrics or short recording), culinary arts using organics or non-GMO ingredients even outdoor yoga!

Contest runs February 1 to March 31 2021.

Send photos of your creations to Allison Kozolanka, WAP Joint Workplace Environment Committee rep. for Local 444 Unifor at:
The LaSalle Small Coast Waterfront Project

The LaSalle Small Coast Waterfront Project, located along the Heritage Detroit River, will be a connected, multi-amenity environment that offers the community an expanded, year round destination. It will be an authentic site that captures the rich history and culture of LaSalle.

Share your thoughts with the Town of LaSalle about the waterfront project at:
Dates worth mentioning
International Day of Women and Girls in Science - February 11
Tackling some of the greatest challenges will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.
Great Backyard Bird Count runs February 12-15, 2021
Each year people from around the world come together to watch, learn about, count, and celebrate birds. Participating is easy, fun to do alone, or with others, and can be done anywhere you find birds.

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.