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

Message from the RAP Coordinator
We're disappointed to announce that we were unable to hold our annual Peche Island Day this year. Peche Island Day, coordinated in partnership with the City of Windsor, the Citizens Environment Alliance, and the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club, is always a terrific opportunity for members of the public to visit the City of Windsor's Peche Island park in the Detroit River, which is only accessible by boat. Unfortunately, we had some difficulties scheduling the volunteer boat transportation but we'll try again next year. Please stay tuned! 

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 

DRCC Updates Website

The DRCC has launched a new website! The new site provides easy access to DRCC partner projects, ways to get involved, publications, upcoming events, and more. Please browse the site (www.detroitriver.ca) and let us know if you have any questions or comments!



Essex Region Source Protection Plan Comes into Effect

Essex - The Source Protection Plan for the Essex Region Source Protection Area comes into effect on October 1, 2015. This plan sets out policies to protect the water sources that supply our municipal drinking water systems.
 
The plan was developed by the Essex Region Source Protection Committee and its municipal and community partners. The plan is a requirement of Ontario's Clean Water Act, which was passed as a response to the Province's inquiry into the Walkerton drinking water tragedy. The Source Protection Plan was developed over several years and is based on technical studies, collaborative policy development, and extensive public consultation. The process was guided by a Source Protection Committee made up representatives from municipalities, business, industry, landowners, and other stakeholders.
 
Policies in the Source Protection Plan include a variety of approaches to manage and prevent risks to municipal drinking water. These approaches include education and outreach, land use planning, monitoring, and the development of risk management plans for significant drinking water threats. These policies will help to keep contaminants out of the Detroit River and surrounding lakes, which are sources of municipal drinking water. 
 
The source protection planning process is directed and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in conjunction with municipalities. Local Conservation Authorities provide additional technical, communications and administrative support for the source protection planning process. For more information, please visit the website: www.essexregionsourcewater.org

Our Fractured Water Cycle

The Greater Lakes video, "Fractured Water," describes how we have fractured the hydrological cycle and the negative, resultant effects. John Jackson, Greater Lakes Project Manager, says, "the way in which we have built infrastructure in our urban areas has disrupted the natural flow of water which have created these flood issues, have created the loss of water supply that we need, have created massive erosion issues that we have never really had to deal with." However, by mimicking the natural water cycle and reconnecting communities with nature, and through green infrastructure projects, we can help protect our Great Lakes and rivers, and restore balance.


See how Detroit is becoming a leader in the deployment of green infrastructure to manage stormwater and combined sewer overflows; view the media series HERE.
   

Grand Marais Drain Improvements to Continue
Windsor - The next phase of drainage improvements for the Grand Marais Drain, a tributary of Turkey Creek within the Detroit River watershed, is presently underway. "The works are to improve water flow and reduce water levels within the Grand Marais drain to reduce the risk of flooding," explains John Henderson, Water Resources Engineer for the Essex Region Conservation Authority. "This is the next phase of the ongoing improvements to the Grand Marais drain that have been undertaken over the past number of years."
 
As part of this improvement project, the overgrown trees and brush will be removed from the banks. "A biological assessment was first undertaken to confirm that no significant species were found in this area," Henderson went on to say. A planting strategy to re-grow grasses and select trees that will not impact flow within the channel or obstruct future City drain maintenance is included in the overall plan.  This project is funded 50% by the City of Windsor and 50% through funds acquired by ERCA from the Ministry of Natural Resources' Water and Erosion Control Infrastructure fund.
ERCA Uses 3D Modeling to Target Water Quality
Essex - The Essex Region Conservation Authority has created a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) to aid in targeting water quality issues. "A DEM is actually a 3D representation of the earth's surface," explained Richard Wyma, ERCA's General Manager. "Much like a photograph, it is made up of pixels." In photos, each pixel represents a colour value, in the DEM, each pixel represents an elevation value. 
 
As part of a project funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), ERCA has generated DEM surfaces for the Canard River, which is located within the Detroit River watershed, Cedar Creek, and Ruscom River. "The goal of the project is to use DEMs to find areas prone to erosion within agricultural fields, right from our desktops," Wyma goes on to say. "This is an efficient way to help us target on-the-ground projects."
 
In the coming months, ERCA will be hosting a public session so that the community has a better understanding of how the DEM works and its potential benefits. "Farmers in particular can benefit from this information as it can help to identify sources of erosion in their farm field," adds Kevin Money, ERCA's Director of Conservation Services. "Erosion negatively impacts soil health and water quality.  This initiative will help identify sources of erosion and then our staff can help landowners access funds through the Clean Water~Green Spaces grant program to make the improvements needed to keep soil in the fields and out of watercourses, ultimately benefiting agricultural productivity and water quality."
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.
ONTARIO FIELD ORNITHOLOGISTS CONVENTION
October 2-4, 2015
Various locations within Leamington
 
Explore Point Pelee and Southwest Ontario, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 2-4, 2015. Please join us for an exciting long weekend of birding in one of Ontario's special birding areas. Meet old friends and make new birding acquaintances. We hope to see you there! For more information or to register, visit: http://www.ofo.ca/site/page/view/convention.programs.
FALL BIRD MIGRATION FIELD COURSE
October 7 & 24, 2015: 8:30am-noon
Point Pelee National Park, Leamington
 
Morning field trips to 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.

October 7 meet at the Point Pelee Visitor Centre
October 24 meet at the Tip parking lot, Point Pelee

FREE FILM SCREENING: "THE MONARCH: A BUTTERFLY BEYOND BORDERS"

October 7, 2015: 7:00pm
Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson Avenue, Trenton, MI

 

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge will host a free film screening of, "The Monarch: A Butterfly Beyond Borders," on Wednesday, October 7. A discussion with the Refuge's Biologist, Greg Norwood, will follow the film. For more information, contact Jennie Braatz at [email protected] or 734-362-7736.

FRIENDS OF THE DETROIT RIVER ANNUAL MEETING

October 9, 2015: doors open at 5:30pm
Portofino's Restaurant, 3455 Biddle Avenue, Wyandotte, MI

 

The Friends of the Detroit River's 2015 Annual Meeting will be held at Portofino's Restaurant in Wyandotte, MI. The evening will begin at 5:30 with a cash bar, followed by dinner at 6:00. The annual meeting will commence at 7:00, which will provide a review of the year and the annual report. At 7:30, the keynote presentation will begin, featuring Dr. Roseman, Research Fishery Biologist with USGS Great Lakes Science Centre. Tickets are $35/person. Space is limited! Please RSVP to 734-288-3889 or [email protected].

ESSEX COUNTY FIELD NATURALISTS' MEETING
October 14, 2015: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

Why Should I Recycle?
This talk, given by Heather Taylor of the Essex-Windsor Solid Waste Authority, will address the following questions and issues: Who is EWSWA? How long does the stuff you throw in the garbage sit in our landfill? The plastic obsession and what it is doing to our water and planet. The "single serving" obsession and the consequences. What can and cannot be recycled? What you can do to help - small changes make a big difference! 
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.