September 2015
THE CURRENT
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Message from the RAP Coordinator
Wish you could stay more connected to the river all day, every day?? The Dossin Great Lakes Museum provides a unique service to the maritime community. The Detroit RiverCam brings passing lake and ocean freighters, motor and sailboats, and even the rowing shells to the home and office desktops of boat watching enthusiasts around the country. Click HERE to see great views of the Detroit River from Belle Isle.

As always, we love to hear from you. If you have any upcoming events, questions, or feedback, please email [email protected].   
 
Claire Sanders
Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup 

High School Teachers Wanted!

Earlier this year, the Essex Region Conservation Authority initiated an educational program aimed at teaching high school students about the use of benthic invertebrates in water quality monitoring. Benthic invertebrates are the critters that live on, and in, the sediment at the bottom of streams, lakes, and rivers. Through hands-on data collection, students will learn that inferences can be made about water quality by the benthic species found in a particular location in our watershed. The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup assists ERCA in teaching students about the Detroit River Area of Concern, our Remedial Action Plan, and the Degradation of Benthos Beneficial Use Impairment. 
 
If you are a high school Biology or Environmental Science teacher interested in participating in the program this fall, please contact Phil Robson! 

Have You Been to Belle Isle Lately? 

If not, it's time you do! The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has initiated an extensive ecological restoration program at Belle Isle with support from Friends of Detroit River. Some of the projects include:
  • Blue Heron Lagoon restoration, linking some of the waterways surrounding the island, providing fish, frogs, turtles and snakes with a place for spawning and growth
  • Invasive species control, including control of phragmites, reed canary grass, and Japanese knotweed
  • South Fishing Pier improvements
For more information, check out this interactive map and interviews with WDET's Sandra Svoboda as she takes a tour of the east end of Belle Isle with Sam Lovall, project manager for Friends of the Detroit River.
Belle Isle in the Detroit River. Image courtesy of Friends of the Detroit River.

Apply for a Grant - Be a Great Lakes Guardian
Ontario is calling on not-for-profit community groups, youth groups, schools, First Nations and Métis communities, and other local groups to help protect and restore their part of the Great Lakes by applying for a Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund grant. The fund, now in its fourth year, supports community projects with a direct environmental benefit, such as:
  • planting trees
  • creating rain gardens
  • restoring wetland habitat
  • controlling invasive species
  • cleaning up a beach or shoreline
  • naturalizing stream banks and shorelines
You can get a grant of up to $25,000 for your project. Smaller projects are also encouraged. This year's fund will award $1.5 million in total for eligible projects. Since 2012, $4.5M has been awarded to 221 community-based projects.
 
Projects must be completed by February 2017. Visit www.ontario.ca/greatlakesfund for the step-by-step instructions on "How to apply" and download the application form. Applications will be accepted until October 23, 2015

ERCA's Y.E.S. Team Visits Fighting Island 

On Monday, August 24, members of ERCA's Y.E.S. (Youth Engagement Strategy) Team visited BASF's Fighting Island. Fighting Island is one of several islands within the Detroit River, and has a storied history of industrial use, restoration, and environmental education. Four BASF employees met the Y.E.S. Team and provided us with a great overview of this history, then kindly loaned us 'gators' for the morning to enable us to travel the entire perimeter of the island.
 
We had glorious weather for our tour! We saw loads of turtles, had great views of the Michigan side of the river, identified native and invasive plants, and discussed how BASF and the island have played a significant role in the clean up of the Detroit River. There was much going on on the island that morning. It is an active corporate retreat and education centre, and we appreciated BASF taking the time to make our visit so enjoyable!

The Y.E.S. Team is a group of youth aged 13-25 interested in making a positive impact on the local Windsor-Essex environment. Are you under 25 and interested in getting involved with the Y.E.S. Team? Please contact Caroline Biribauer for more information!
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.

FRIENDS OF THE DETROIT RIVER FALL DINNER CRUISE 

September 3, 2015: 6:00pm-9:00pm

DRCC PUBLIC ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING
September 9, 2015: 4:30pm
Windsor Airport Conference Room

Join the Public Advisory Council (PAC) of the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup for a meeting to discuss Detroit River issues. The PAC provides a venue for the public to contribute to the restoration and protection of the Detroit River Area of Concern by promoting community involvement in the Remedial Action Plan, reviewing DRCC reports, lobbying local and senior levels of government for Detroit River issues and serving as the public's voice on DRCC committees.

Refreshments are provided. Please RSVP by email to Claire Sanders if you plan on attending or for more information.

ESSEX COUNTY FIELD NATURALISTS' MEETING

September 9, 2015: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

 

Urban Wildlife Management in Windsor: What Did We Learn from the Skunk Trap and Kill Program?

Alexis Hand is an MS Conservation Biology student. She completed her thesis on the Urban Management of the Striped Skunk in Windsor. She will talk about the rise in human-wildlife conflict in urban environments and the best ways to manage conflict. She will then discuss her research on the skunk and stray cat populations in Windsor and factors that could be influencing their presence in neighbourhoods. She will also discuss the pros and cons of population control and why the city's skunk trap and kill program was ineffective. Lastly, she will discuss more long-term management solutions and why an urban wildlife management plan is needed in Windsor.

FALL HIKING AT OJIBWAY
September 10-November 26 (Thursdays), 2015: 10:00am-11:00am
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

Exercise your body and brain! These brisk morning walks with one of Ojibway Nature Centre's naturalists will introduce you to the many plants and animals in our area. Explore the Ojibway Prairie Complex and meet new friends. Senior discount available. 
Date: Thursdays, September 10 - November 26 
Times: 10:00am - 11:00am 
Fee: $55/12 weeks
FALL BIRD MIGRATION FIELD COURSE
September 12 & 23, October 7 & 24, 2015: 8:30am-noon
Holiday Beach Conservation Area, Amherstburg OR Point Pelee National Park, Leamington
 
A series of morning field trips to Holiday Beach and Point Pelee to observe the incredible variety of birds that migrate through Southwestern Ontario each fall. Lead by Paul Pratt. $16 each ($14.50 for seniors). Dates 
are tentative. For more information, contact the Ojibway Nature Centre at 519-966-5852.

September 12 meet at the Hawk Tower, Holiday Beach C.A.
September 23 meet at the Point Pelee Visitor Centre
October 7 meet at the Point Pelee Visitor Centre
October 24 meet at the Tip parking lot, Point Pelee
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.