DRCC w website
October 2014
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Message from the RAP Coordinator
Sadly, we've had to cancel Peche Island Day this year (see the notice below) but there is still lots of time to explore the Detroit River shoreline and natural areas around the county before the leaves all fall and snow flies! Please check out the other upcoming events in the articles below.

As always, we love to hear from you. If you have any upcoming events, questions, or feedback, please email postmaster@detroitriver.ca.   


Thank you,

Claire Sanders, MSc., BEd.  

Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  

Detroit River Canadian Cleanup 

Peche Island Day: Cancelled Due to High Winds

Please be advised that, due to projected high winds for Saturday, October 4, Peche Island Day has been cancelled.  The Peche Island Day Organizing Committee was concerned about the safety of loading and unloading passengers in high winds and waves and the forecast of these weather conditions has resulted in the cancellation of this event.  The organizers and volunteers are very disappointed, however we look forward to organizing another Peche Island Day in 2015 and, of course, we will hope for good weather!  


Thank you to all our partners that make this event possible each year, including: the City of Windsor, University of Windsor (GLIER), Windsor Police, BASF Inc., Windsor Essex County Canoe Club, Essex County Field Naturalists' Club, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources and Citizens Environment Alliance. 

Community Tree Planting Events
by Caroline Biribauer, Outreach Coordinator, Essex Region Conservation Authority

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is one of many partners within the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup working to cleanup, enhance, restore, and sustain the Detroit River ecosystem.  Part of this effort includes engaging the general public and students through environmental education and community planting events. Since 1999, over 37,000 trees have been planted in the Detroit River watersheds (comprised of the Turkey Creek, Canard River, and Little River watersheds) by more than 13,000 volunteers through this program alone! This tradition continues this fall with 6 more planting events in the Detroit River watersheds.  Here are the highlights:

  • Massey Green students initiate a 'courtyard makeover' at Massey High School, including planting native trees and shrubs.
  • For the fourth year in a row, TD Tree Days are held across the nation, including a planting in the Ganatchio corridor of the Little River watershed with TD Bank employees and their families.
  • Enthusiastic Chrysler employees dig in yet again and plant trees near the Chrysler Plant near Cadillac and Somme, in the Turkey Creek watershed.
  • Grade 7 students at St. Joseph Elementary 'grow' their outdoor classroom by expanding their Panther Patch - a butterfly garden that was initiated in 2013.  Students at St. John Elementary plant trees to expand their outdoor classroom as well.
  • Deloitte employees make a difference around the county during their 'Impact Day', helping maintain ERCA's network of native gardens and planting trees in the Canard River watershed.
  • ERCA's YES (Youth Engagement Strategy) Team gets organized to pick up garbage and collect tree seeds at Devonwood Conservation Area.

From Billions to None: An Evening with Joel Greenberg

The story of the passenger pigeon is unlike that of any other bird. With an estimated population between 3 and 5 billion, it was the most abundant bird in North America and possibly the world.  Despite their abundant numbers this species to extinction in just a few short decades - from billions to none.


September 1, 1914 - exactly 100 years ago, Martha, the last of the species died in captivity, marking the extinction of this unique bird. The Essex Region Conservation Authority, with support from the TD Friends of the Environment Fund, developed a traveling exhibit to draw awareness to this anniversary and to promote the conservation of species and habitat, to strengthen the relationship between people and nature, and to foster sustainability.


On Thursday, September 18, the Essex Region Conservation Authority presented An Evening with Joel Greenberg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. This book has been called "a parable for our time" by Dr. David Suzuki.  Mr. Greenberg is a leader in Project Passenger Pigeon, working diligently to commemorate the anniversary of the species. The Conservation Authority was pleased to have Mr. Greenberg available to visit our area during September 2014 - the actual anniversary month of the extinction. He has a very busy schedule traveling North America with lectures, the launch of his new passenger pigeon movie and other events throughout 2014. This was his only visit to the Essex Region, and we are delighted to have him assist us in spreading the message of conservation. Mr. Greenberg's talk 'Echoes of Their Wings' highlighted the life and legacy of the Passenger Pigeon, and related it to modern day conservation efforts. For more information on the subject visit: www.passengerpigeon.org  

Tips for a Great and Green Hallowe'en

Like many seasonal celebrations, Halloween can be an expensive and sometimes wasteful experience. Don't miss out on opportunities to be creative and to maximize on eco-friendly opportunities - it's a great way to increase the fun-factor and inspire others to do the same!  Here are a few ideas that we gathered from various sources to make sure that you don't spook Mother Nature this October.  Want more ideas? There are also lots of great websites that promote more Earth-friendly holidays like greenhalloween.com


Green Halloween Costumes


Consider reusing or recycling costumes from previous years to make new costumes, or recycling old clothing into new costumes. Before you set out your paper recycling, set aside cardboard boxes and large pieces of paper that you can use to fashion costumes.  Also, this fall start a green Halloween costume box and throw old clothes, interesting props and other recyclable materials into it throughout the year. Spread the word and ask your friends to start the same. By next Halloween, you'll have lots of eco-friendly materials to share and make into new costume ideas. 


Green Halloween Treats


Consider giving trick-or-treaters some green alternatives to traditional candy treats, like bookmarks, stickers, raisins in their mini recyclable cardboard boxes, or apples and homemade treats (only if you know the children who are receiving these treats from you).


Green Halloween Decorations


Halloween decorations can be natural and non-commercial, with gourds, pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns! Lower your carbon footprint this Halloween by buying locally grown pumpkins, and then lower your waste by composting them after Halloween is over. Use recycled paper to make window decorations, and then send them on for another round of recycling after the holiday. Paper grocery bags can be cut and molded into spooky Halloween trees, masks, and painted white for ghostly effects. Look online for patterns and inspiration!


Green Halloween Trick-or-Treating


Send your children trick-or-treating with reusable buckets, canvas bags or pillow cases. Lower emissions by trick-or-treating in your neighborhood and get to know your neighbors better by inviting them over for an old fashioned Halloween party at your house.


Green Halloween Party


Send electronic invitations instead of paper to lower waste. Instead of using plastic plates, cups and utensils, compostable silverware and party plates are now widely available - or be a great green host and use the real stuff! Go to your neighborhood thrift store and purchase a pile of mismatched cloth napkins and then have guests toss them in a bin for washing and reusing at your next party. Be sure to recycle bottles and cans, and compost leftovers.halloween.jpg

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
The Detroit River in the news....here are some relevant, external links to news articles that may pique your interest. Click on the link to read on.
Upcoming Events
Save the date for these great local events! Please ensure you contact the organizer for more information.


October 5, 2014: Noon - 4:00pm    

John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area, Harrow


Join in the fun and celebrate the fall harvest season on a pioneer farm. Ghost stories in the attic, corn husk crafts, cider and sausage making, seed saving and more.  Meet the horses that made the harvest possible 200 years ago!   Pony Cart rides for children from 12:30 - 1:30pm. Parade of Horses at 1:30pm sharp; Bring a lawn chair and find a ringside spot. Please no dogs at this event. For more information contact the Homestead at 519-738-2029 or jrph@erca.org




October 7, 2014: 7:00pm

Camp Cedarwin Scout Camp, Peach Lodge

1495 Arner Townline / County Road 23, Harrow  


Come out and join the Friends of Cedar, Mill, and Wigle Creeks as they coordinate stewardship activities in these watersheds.  For more information, please contact Caroline Biribauer 519-776-5209 x245

October 8, 2014: 7:30pm

Ojibway Nature Centre, Windsor  


Kate Arthur, Restoration Biologist at ERCA, will present a slide talk at the Ojibway Nature Centre. She will speak about a variety of recent habitat restoration projects undertaken in the region and will also highlight the restoration services that are potentially available to landowners to create or enhance wildlife habitat.


November 8, 2014: 7:00pm  

John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area, Harrow

Experience autumn hands-on in this unforgettable evening family program. Help with the harvest on the early settler farm as you make your own traditional craft, collect apples and help to press the fresh apple cider , then listen to a scary story by candlelight in the 1842 house. Also, stargazing tips to help you spot shooting stars! Pre-registration is required. $15 per person. Register online at: www.onlineregistrations.ca/jrph For more information contact the Homestead at 519-738-2029 or jrph@erca.org



November 8, 2014: 7:30pm  

Ojibway Nature Centre, Windsor

The ECFN welcome speaker is Denis Tetreault to their 30th annual dinner. Denis will be speaking on "Evolution: Facts and Theories". Tickets are $35.00 each. Donations to the Silent Auction and/or door prizes are welcome. For more information on the event, or to acquire tickets, please contact: JoAnn Grondin  519-734-0056. 



November 12, 2014: 7:30pm

Ojibway Nature Centre, Windsor


The ECFN, in collaboration with the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee, are planning a fall session of WECEC Green Speaker's series on Microplastics in the Great Lakes. Microplastics are generally less than 5 mm in diameter and are often found in many common consumer products, including toothpastes, deodorants, body washes, hand cleansers and facial exfoliates. In 2012 and 2103, a pair of scientific studies recorded the plastic contents of the great lakes and discovered microplastics in greater concentrations in Lake Erie exceeding data collected in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (Erikson, et. A, 2013). These products can have a significant impact on wildlife and humans. Stay tuned for future updates. Eriksen, M. et al., Microplastic Pollution in the Surface Waters of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Mar. Pollut. Bull. (2013).  Please visit www.essexcountynature.com for updates and additional information on this series.



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Job postings graphicThese 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.Note: the links will expire after the deadline has passed.    


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311-360 Fairview Avenue West, Essex, ONĚ 519-92-3722

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.