August 2015
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Message from the RAP Coordinator
It's been a busy month for research on the Detroit River. Crews have been out monitoring water quality, vegetation, marsh birds, fish, and invertebrates. I caught a ride with a crew and snapped this photo of some recent beaver activity. It was only in 2013 that beavers hit the news when the first ones reappeared on the Michigan side of the Detroit River. The US Fish and Wildlife Service said it had been between 75 and 100 years since a beaver was last seen over there! It was hailed as a significant sign of environmental recovery. Reports of beavers are not as uncommon on the Canadian side, particularly in Lake St. Clair, but it is always exciting to see animals like this, along with Osprey, Bald Eagles, and Lake Sturgeon, in the river again.

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


Claire Sanders

Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  

Detroit River Canadian Cleanup 

Devonshire Mall Enhancing Environmental Commitment

Windsor, Ontario - Partners from the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup and the Essex Region Conservation Authority joined management and retailers from Devonshire Mall on July 15 in creating a second native garden near the Bank of Montreal entrance. Following the announcement and sign unveiling which will help mall visitors identify the variety of beautiful native species used in this landscaping project, volunteers helped to plant approximately 700 plants. Butterfly Milkweed, Obedient Plant, and Golden Alexanders were just some of the species included in the 3,300 square foot project. "Devonshire Mall is committed to our community's environment and is fortunate to work with the Essex Region Conservation Authority and the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup organizations in this important community project," said Chris Savard, General Manager, Devonshire Mall. This initiative complements the many environmental initiatives already underway at Devonshire Mall.

The original outdoor native garden is located at the main entrance adjacent to TD Canada Trust, and the indoor atrium at the food court also feature all native plant species. "The Essex Region Conservation Authority salutes Devonshire Mall for their ongoing commitment to the environment. By working together as a community to create green spaces where appropriate, we can collectively improve our region's water quality, provide important pollinator habitat, and showcase the relevance of these projects to urban residents," added Ed Sleiman, ERCA Chairman.

Native plants provide the best habitat for pollinator species that naturally occur in our region. Presently, rapidly declining populations of pollinators is of worldwide concern, and this project helps to provide much needed habitat. As well, pesticides and fertilizers used in home and commercial gardens can end up in our rivers and lakes, which can harm fish and other wildlife. With Devonshire Mall's location in the Detroit River watershed, greening this area with native plants reduces the need for watering and fertilizer, improving water conservation and the health of the watershed.

Projects and partnerships like this are vital to the health of our Detroit River. We hope that mall visitors and local residents will appreciate the garden for its beauty, see the benefits, and will be encouraged to try native plants in their gardens too," said Claire Sanders, Coordinator of the Remedial Action Plan for the Detroit River.
Ian Naisbitt, Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, Chris Savard, Devonshire Mall, Warden Tom Bain and ERCA Chair Ed Sleiman at Devonshire Mall. Photo Courtesy: ERCA.
Detroit River CEA Boat Tour, July 11, 2015
Congratulations to the Citizen's Environment Alliance on another successful boat tour! Guest speakers Peter Werbe, Nick Schroeck, John Hartig and Phil Roberts did a tremendous job on the tour, providing an excellent narrative on the historical issues and recent remediation efforts that have gone into saving the Detroit River. Photos of this year's tour will be available on the website by the end of July. If you have any questions or comments regarding the tour please contact

Ojibway Prairie BioBlitz, July 18, 2015 

In partnership with the City of Windsor and the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club, the DRCC participated in the 2015 BioBlitz on July 18, 2015. Despite soaring temperatures, the BioBlitz attracted over 60 experts and hundreds of amateur volunteers who came to identify as many species (including fungi, lichens, plants, fish, birds and insects) as possible within a 24-hour period. The public had the opportunity to join expert-guided hikes and kids got up close and personal with Wild Ontario's live birds and Sciensational Sssnakes hands-on exhibit. The BioBlitz encompassed the Ojibway Prairie Remnants, including Ojibway Shores on the Detroit River, in the City of Windsor and town of LaSalle. We won't have a final tally for several months but one new species of fly for Canada has already been identified. Stay tuned!

What Do You Think of the Draft Phosphorus Targets for Lake Erie?

To combat the growing threat of toxic and nuisance algae development in Lake Erie, the United States and Canada have committed, through the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, to develop revised binational phosphorus load reduction targets for Lake Erie by February, 2016. 


In response to this commitment, in 2013, federal agencies, state and provincial governments, municipal and local governments, and many other partners convened a binational subcommittee to review the interim phosphorus targets for Lake Erie contained within the Agreement, and recommend new targets for Lake Erie.  


Your voice matters! Environment Canada is now seeking comments online on the draft phosphorus targets developed. Visit the website to learn more and provide your online input before August 31, 2015.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

The Detroit River in the 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.


July 2-August 28, 2015: 9:00am-5:00pm

Canada South Science City, 930 Marion Avenue, Windsor

Summer Science Day Camp is designed for ages 5-12. Kids have fun discovering science through structured play. Early drop-off and late pickup available. Cost is $25/child/day.


July 8-August 26, 2015: Wednesdays, 9:30am-12:00pm

Point Pelee National Park 


Calling all young naturalists! Want to explore Point Pelee and learn about the plants and animals that call it home? Join a park interpreter for a weekly program throughout the summer, from paddling the marsh to restoring the savannah habitat, you'll learn about how to help protect the park for the future. Cost: $68.70/child (7-11 years). Register early to guarantee your spot. For more information, contact 519-322-2365 ext. 0.


August 6 OR August 20, 2015: 9:00am-4:00pm

Join us for this rare opportunity to explore the City of Windsor's island park. Boat trips, field studies, historical hikes are all part of this unique adventure. Ages 7-12. Very limited enrollment! Cost is $49/child/day. For more information, contact the Ojibway Nature Centre at 519-966-5852.


August 9, 2015: noon-4:00pm
John R. Park Homestead, Harrow


Celebrate summer with a visit to the lakeshore. See demonstrations of lost arts and learn tips from the experts on becoming more self-sustaining. Visit the reenactors' camp and learn about life in an earlier time. Stay for the day and enjoy hands-on activities, live music, livestock displays and games for children. For a map to the park, go here.


August 10-12, 2015: 8:00am-5:00pm
Point Pelee National Park, Leamington 


Become a nature explorer this summer at Point Pelee National Park. Canoe, bike, swim and learn about the wonders of Point Pelee. Get up close to the lizards, snakes, turtles and birds that call the park home. Have fun while you learn why it's important to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Snacks provided. Cost: $147/child (7-11 years). Register early to guarantee your spot. For more information, contact 519-322-2365 ext. 0.


August 12, 2015: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor


ERCA's Outreach: Students to Seniors ~ Pollinators to Pied-billed Grebes

Caroline Biribauer, ERCA's Outreach Coordinator, will speak on the various programs geared to engage the public in our local flora and fauna. Schoolyard Naturalization, Citizen Science, Youth Engagement, and ERCA's Native Gardens Network will be discussed. Caroline has been with the conservation authority for just over ten years, coordinating volunteers in a wide variety of programs, events, and activities in that time. She has lived and worked in various corners of the Carolinian Life Zone, which has served her well during her 6+ year tenure on the Board of the Carolinian Canada Coalition. She originally hails from Toronto, worked in the United States for just over two years for an environmental non-profit, and has been in the Windsor-Essex area since 2002.


August 12, 2015: 5:00pm
11325 Lakeshore Road 302, Stoney Point


The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association will be holding their Annual Farm Twilight Tour this year at Chuck Desmarais' Farm, the 2014 Essex Conservation Farm Award winner. The date is Wednesday, August 12th, 2015, beginning at 5:00 p.m. The tour will take place at the Chuck Desmarais Farm located at 11325 Lakeshore Road 302, Stoney Point. The focus of this year's event is "Better Soil Health - Good for Your Bottom Line and Water Quality." Fertilizer Management and other agronomy issues will be demonstrated and discussed. For more information, contact 519-776-5209 ext. 369.


August 13, 2015: 9:00am-noon
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor


Experience wildlife up close and personal. A canoeing lesson, war of 1812 history, frog and turtle surveys are all part of this guided adventure. Cameras are encouraged. This event is for adults. Cost is $34. For more information, contact the Ojibway Nature Centre at 519-966-5852.


August 23, 2015: 10:00am-1:00pm
Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Harrow 


Get Wet. Be Wild. Participate in a 5K walk or run at the beautiful Holiday Beach Conservation Area. Held in partnership with Walkers & Runners Around the County of Essex (WRACE). Register here.


August 23-28, 2015 - check-in time: TBA 


Erie Shores is a week-long trip along the length of Lake Erie, leaving from Windsor and arriving at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Cyclists ride along the shores of major waterways in southern Ontario - the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair, the Thames River, Lake Erie and the Niagara River. Cost is $1075 + tax. For more information, visit

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.