One section of the Windsor Central Riverfront Fish Habitat Restoration Project, a 550m stretch of softened shoreline upstream of the City of Windsor's Retention Treatment Basin.
Message from the RAP Assistant 

Happy Holidays and wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy new year! Thank you for all of the support, participation and enthusiasm you have given us over the past year. The DRCC is looking forward to many more engagements, clean ups, tree plantings, and projects in 2017. Please note that the office will be closed until Tuesday January 3rd 2017.

Thank you,
Gina Pannunzio,
Remedial Action Plan Assistant
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup
Great Lakes Sustainability Fund
Environment and Climate Change Canada is calling for proposals to the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund. The deadline is January 16th 2017. Priority for GLSF funding will be given to projects that directly contribute towards the completion of necessary remedial actions and beneficial use impairments identified in the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup's most current work plan. If you have an idea for a restoration project in an Area of Concern and would like more information about funding opportunities, please contact
If your organization intends on applying for a GLSF grant for work in the Detroit River Area of Concern, please contact Gina Pannunzio ( by December 7th in order to have it reviewed by the Steering and Implementation Committee.

Important Documents to Review and Use for Applications
Can be found and available for download on our website here.
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge - Video Release
Location of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge
The US Fish and Wildlife Service released a video showing the beauty of the river and the refuge. This video shows a unique perspective of the Detroit River that most people may not get a chance to see. Take a look at the video here

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is the only International Wildlife Refuge in North America. The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge is located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie, just 20 miles south of Detroit and 50 miles north of Toledo, Ohio in Wayne and Monroe counties.The refuge includes islands, coastal wetlands, marshes, shoals, and waterfront lands along 48 miles of Detroit River and Western Lake Erie shorelines. For more information visit their site here.  The refuge is not open to the public on a daily basis but limited public use opportunities are available. More information here
Detroit River Tour with Académie Ste Cécile
Students attending the Detroit River tour with the DRCC
On a very cold, blustery afternoon on December 14th 2016, grade 11 students in David Brian's Geography class from Académie Ste Cécile met with the DRCC for a walking tour of the Detroit River. The group started at McKee Park and ended at Ouellette Avenue where we stopped for a cup of hot chocolate to warm up in downtown Windsor. Students learned about the unique history of the Detroit River, land uses on both sides of the border, the Area of Concern program and the Remedial Action Plan as well as some of the restoration work that has been done to improve fish and wildlife habitat through shoreline restoration. Thank you to David Brian and Académie Ste Cécile for including us in your class this year!
Keep your drains and sewers happy this holiday
FOG clogging infrastructure pipe.
It's a no-brainer, families across Windsor-Essex County will have an increased amount of cooking fat waste that will be generated from all of the great dinners over the holidays. The DRCC would like to remind everyone that sewer backups caused by clogged lines from FOG (fats, oils and greases) can cause damage to homes, public infrastructure damage and can also affect public health. If the lines are clogged, then the lines cannot move our sanitary waste effectively through the system.

Sanitary sewers are connected to homes and their kitchen and bathroom sinks, dishwasher, toilets and floor drains. The wastewater from these lines goes to a plant for treatment prior to be flushed back into a river or stream. Storm sewers are typically located in a curbed area on a street, a parking lot or alley way. Untreated rainwater or runoff is collected here and is directed back into a river or stream. It is extremely important that nothing is poured into the storm sewer since this water is untreated.

Tips for a happy and safe holiday
  • Scrape food scraps and grease solids (let them cool down in a dish/jar etc. and place into the garbage (NOT down the sink, garbage disposal drain, toilet etc.)
  • Grease spills can be cleaned up by using paper towels or other absorbent material such as cat litter and place in the garbage
  • Capture FOG material from dishes by wiping them with a paper towel before washing in the sink or dishwasher
  • Capture food waste by using a strainer when doing dishes and scrape off excess food before loading into the dishwasher
  • Do not pour anything at all down the drain, sewers or even onto the ground outside (this can include solvents, waste motor oil, paint, gasoline or other household hazardous chemicals)
  • Take advantage of the Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority Household Chemical Waste Depot to dispose of chemical wastes safely for public health and the environment
  • Read the City of Windsor's Proper Disposal of Household Liquid Waste Brochure
DRCC Video: Wastewater Where does it go?

Have you ever wondered what happens to water and other substances when they are flushed down our drains and toilets? It shouldn't be a mystery, and the City of Windsor and the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup initiative created a wastewater video to help de-mystify the topic, and educate viewers. Most of us don't really think about what happens to water once it's flushed or drained away and out of sight. It all has to go somewhere, though, and what we put down our drains can have a big impact on our home and our environment.  

The video follows the flow of wastewater from a home in Windsor to one of two places: the waste water treatment plant or the Detroit River. There are many household items that are branded as 'flushable' that really shouldn't be put down the toilet. What's more, some items go directly back into our rivers and lakes without treatment.
Video Link
Bird Studies Canada Projects
The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) Program works to identify, monitor, and conserve the world's most important sites for birds and biodiversity. 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 congregations of birds and waterfowl.

Ring-billed Gulls were originally a trigger species (in 1990 there were 34,021 pairs, 3.9% of the North American population on Fighting Island). Recently the gull colony has changed, but Canvasbacks still occur in significant numbers (in 2015, birders counted 9000 along the IBA, 1.7% of its global population)!  The IBA is also a winter home to many Redheads and Common Mergansers.
Lower Detroit River IBA Waterbird Count
There will be two waterbird count events in the Lower Detroit River IBA this winter on Saturday January 28th and February 25th 2017. The activity will consist of two mornings of identifying waterbirds (mostly ducks) on the river in predetermined locations. More details will come as we get closer to the date.
To contact the Ontario IBA Coordinator, e-mail:
Green Speaker Series: Invasive Phragmites Expert Panel Event
On Wednesday December 14th 2016 the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, Ontario Invasive Plant Council and the Essex Region Conservation Authority hosted a Green Speaker Series event. The discussion focused on the invasive Phragmites and what efforts are being done to prevent the spread of this species, how it is being controlled, what impacts it has on the environment and other information. Stay tuned for follow up information that will be posted in the new year!
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. 
Multiple Christmas Bird Counts
Details below 
BL Rondeau - Dec 18 (contact Keith at
NS Lakeshore - Dec 14 (contact coordinator Glenn at
CC Cedar Creek - Dec 17 (contact Ojibway Nature Centre 519-966-5852)
PP Point Pelee - Dec 19 (contact Sarah at
HB Holiday Beach - Dec 27 (contact Betty at 519-944-0825)
Rockwood/Amherstburg - Dec 26 (contact coordinator Tom at
DR Detroit River - Jan 1, 2017 (contact Ojibway Nature Centre 519-966-5852)
Science Saturday
Saturday January 14, Belle Isle Aquarium, 12pm to 3pm, Detroit, MI   
Allow guest speakers to lead you on an interesting science journey at Science Saturday! Lectures will be twenty minutes in length each and are held at 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Come and learn something new! For more information please e-mail info@belleisleconservancy.rg or visit their website here for past presentations.
DRCC Public Advisory Council & Education and Public Involvement Meeting
Wednesday January 18th 2016, 5:30pm to 7:30pm, Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor, ON 
Please get in touch with the DRCC/Gina Pannunzio at if you would like to RSVP your attendance to this meeting. Meeting agenda and record of previous minutes will be provided to guest list.
Belle Isle Park Advisory Committee Meeting
Thursday January 19 2017, 9:00am to 11:00am, Belle Isle Nature Zoo, Flynn Pavilion - Near Intersection of Picnic Way & Loiter Way, Belle Isle, Detroit, MI, 48207
Please see their website for past agendas, meeting minutes, and additional information!
Stewardship Saturday
Saturday January 21st 2017, Belle Isle Park, 9am to 12pm, Detroit, MI   
Join the DRN and Belle Isle Conservancy for Stewardship Saturdays. For questions or more information please e-mail Laurel Malvitz-Draper, DNR Resource Steward for the Stewardship Unit at
Lower Detroit  River IBA Waterbird Count
Saturday January 28th 2016, 8:30am. Location TBD. 
There will be two waterbird count events in the Lower Detroit River IBA this winter on Saturday January 28th and February 25th 2017. The activity will consist of two mornings of identifying waterbirds (mostly ducks) on the river in predetermined locations. More details will come as we get closer to the date.To contact the Ontario IBA Coordinator, e-mail:
Shiver on the River
Saturday February 4th 2017, 10am to 3pm, Belle Isle  
The Shiver is a family oriented event, designed to bring people down to the river. It is a great opportunity to get outside in the winter and discover the many wonderful attractions at Belle Isle Park. For more information, please visit the Friend's of the Detroit River page here.
Job Postings
These postings are for jobs at various locations with varying deadlines. Please click on the job title to view job details. Contact the listed agency in the job ad for more information. 

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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.