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

Message from the RAP Coordinator
The DRCC Habitat Work Group, which is comprised of 

federal, provincial, and local experts and university researchers, has been working towards prioritizing areas in the Detroit River for potential fish habitat restoration projects. Many of these potential restoration ideas include actions such as installing breakwaters to create slow water areas in order to encourage the establishment of vegetation, which makes good nursery habitat for young fish of many species.

Field researchers were on the river in July and August 2015 collecting data about fish communities, vegetation, sediment, and water quality at 22 potential restoration sites. DRCC partners now plan to engage an engineering consultant to more closely evaluate the feasibility of several of these projects.
Early in 2016, we expect to be able to develop a list of short- and long-term habitat restoration projects that we can work towards.

If you'd like more information or have questions, please email

Claire Sanders
Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup 
Call for Proposals to Great Lakes Sustainability Fund 2016/17
Environment Canada is calling for proposals to the Great Lakes Sustainability Fund. Priority for GLSF funding will be given to projects that directly contribute towards the completion of necessary remedial actions identified in the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup's most current work plan. If your organization intends on applying for a GLSF grant for work in the Detroit River Area of Concern, please contact Claire Sanders ( by December 7th in order to have it reviewed by the Steering and Implementation Committee. 

For an application package, click here. Applications are due Friday, January 8, 2016.
DRCC in the Classroom!
Educating Students about Water Quality and Benthic Invertebrates 
This past spring, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup joined up with ERCA to educate students on the importance of protecting water quality and the use of benthic invertebrates (insects) as a way to monitor environmental health. The program consisted of an introductory classroom visit, a field trip to collect benthic invertebrates within the Detroit River watershed, and a follow-up lesson spent identifying organisms and drawing conclusions from the community assemblages present.
The program was offered again this fall, engaging more than 100 secondary school students. Read Matthew Broser's account below, published in Harrow Secondary School's newsletter, The Talon:
Article written by Matthew Broser, Grade 12, Harrow Secondary School 
State of the Strait Conference, 2015
State of the Strait
Coordinating Conservation in the St. Clair-Detroit River System
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Eastern Michigan University - Student Center

The State of the Strait is an international one-day conference that brings together government managers, researchers, students, environmental and conservation organizations, and concerned citizens to assess ecosystem status and provide advice to improve research, monitoring, and management from Lake St. Clair to the western basin of Lake Erie. The theme for the 2015 conference is, "Coordinating Conservation in the St. Clair-Detroit River System."

The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup will be attending the conference and we hope to see you there! Admission to the conference is free but registration is required, as space is limited. For more information about the conference, visit
ERCA Supports Invasive Species Act
Essex Region - The Essex Region Conservation Authority, along with Ontario's 35 additional Conservation Authorities, is pleased to see final assent of the Invasive Species Act, which is designed to address the urgent and growing problem of invasive species in Ontario. 
"Invasive species such as Phragmites and Asian carp threaten our local watersheds and create significant costs to industries which rely on our Great Lakes," said Richard Wyma, ERCA's General Manager. "In our region, we have more rare and endangered species than anywhere else in Canada, and the importance of protecting our biodiversity cannot be overstated." 
ERCA, like all Conservation Authorities, works with the Province and other partners in many programs to address the threat of invasive species through a variety of means, including monitoring, integrated watershed management, habitat restoration and community outreach and engagement.

"We congratulate the Province for its work in developing this unique piece of legislation," added Kim Gavine, General Manager of Conservation Ontario, the association which represents Conservation Authorities. "We can continue to support the Province's objectives around invasive species through existing Conservation Authority watershed management activities such as stewardship and watershed monitoring and look forward to any future collaborations that may be suggested."

Earlier this year, ERCA's Board of Directors called on the Province to consider a province-wide strategy to address Phragmites. ERCA is presently working to develop a pilot program to control this invasive species at Hillman Marsh Conservation Area.
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.
November 14-December 20, 2015
270 Dalhousie Street, Amherstburg

Come out to the annual Amhersburg River Lights Festival, set along the Detroit River! Tree lighting ceremony, fireworks, canon firing, costumed carolers and dancers, hot chocolate, classic holiday films, carriage rides, gingerbread warming house, & more. Free admission. For more information, visit
December 3, 2015: 9:00am-4:00pm
St. John's Hall, Woodslee

The Essex Soil and Crop Improvement Association (ESCIA) is having their 2015 annual meeting on Thursday, December 3, 2015. An interesting and informative schedule has been planned that will benefit both full-time and part-time farmers. The meeting will be located at St. John's Hall in Woodslee with an admission of $15, which includes refreshments and lunch. Current issues in agriculture will be the emphasis of the meeting with displays from various government organizations, agricultural suppliers, local retailers, and equipment dealers. For more information, visit
December 9, 2015: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

Open Mic Night
Join us to watch club members show their photos from their travels, hobbies and employment. Enjoy homemade desserts and mix and mingle with friends. If you would like to share your own photos, come prepared with your flash drive. Everyone is welcome!
December 11, 2015: 5:00-8:00pm
Belle Isle Park, Detroit

Explore the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Belle Isle Aquarium and Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Enjoy family-friendly holiday fun with holiday music, free mulled cider and Dutch Girl Donuts at the Conservatory, hot cocoa and cookies, and free winter crafts at the Dossin. Donations of new teddy bears for the Michigan State Police "Trooper Teddy" program will be collected at the aquarium and conservatory, and news toys for the "Toys for Tots" program will be collected at the Dossin. For more information, click here.
December 15, 2015: 7:00-10:00pm
John R. Park Homestead, 915 County Road 50 E, Harrow

See the 1842 Homestead decorated with natural materials from forest and farm, craft a traditional ornament, bake on the hearth, and ring the sleigh bells. Costumed guides will take visitors through the house and farm after sundown. Various stops along the way offer guests a seasonal participation experience straight from the days of John and Amelia Park. Pre-register for the event here. Cost is $16.90/participant.
December 16, 2015: 5:00-7:00pm
Windsor Airport Conference Room, Windsor

Join the Public Advisory Council (PAC) of the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup for a meeting to learn about and 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 e-mail to Sarah Baldo if you plan on attending, or for more information.
Various Dates and Locations, see below 
The 'Christmas Bird Count' (CBC) is conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Christmas Bird Counts are conducted on any one day between December 14 and January 5 inclusive. They are carried out within a 24-km diameter circle that stays the same from year to year. These bird observations have been amassed into a huge database that reflects the distribution and numbers of winter birds over time.  Birds are indicators of the overall health of our environment. As well as adding an exciting and fun event to the holiday season, the Christmas Bird Count provides valuable insight into the long-term health of bird populations and the environment. 
Christmas Bird Counts are generally group efforts, though single-observer counts can and do happen. They are organized at the local level, usually by a birding club or naturalists organization. Volunteers are welcome! For more details about a count, please contact the organizer as listed below: 

BL Rondeau - tbd
NS Lakeshore - Dec 14 (contact coordinator Glenn at
CC Cedar Creek - Dec 19 (contact Ojibway Nature Centre 519-966-5852)
PP Point Pelee - Dec 21 
HB Holiday Beach - Dec 27
Rockwood/Amherstburg - Dec 26 (contact coordinator Tom at
DR Detroit River - Jan 1, 2016 (contact Ojibway Nature Centre 519-966-5852)

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.