February 2016
THE CURRENT
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Annual Film Screening - Registration Now Open!
Join us for our annual film screening taking place on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at Lakeshore Cinemas! PROJECT: ICE is an award-winning documentary about the Great Lakes, viewed "through the prism of ice." The film describes the importance of our shared resource and our responsibility to protect it. We hope you will join us for the Ontario premiere of PROJECT: ICE!
 
Doors open at 6:00 and the film will start at 6:30. We're excited to hold a panel discussion after the movie with the movie director, William Kleinert, Dr. Henry Pollack (Science Advisor), and Karina Richters (Environmental Coordinator, City of Windsor). Admission is free but pre-registration is required.

TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT, please go to
www.detroitriver.ca/movie.

Formed by ice, filled by ice, often covered by ice, the Great Lakes encapsulate human exploration,
migration, development and where we're headed. PROJECT: ICE views North America's fresh water inland ocean through the prism of ice, from the crossroads of history, science and climate change.

North America's five Great Lakes contain a staggering twenty percent of all the fresh surface water on the planet. Lake Superior by itself holds ten percent of Earth's fresh water at the surface.

Our 4K digital cinema cameras explore this shared Canadian-American resource that holds a timely and telling story of geology, human movement, population growth, industrialization, cultural development, recreation and the profound impact people have had on the very environment they cherish and depend upon.
 
Ice sits at the heart of it all.
Lil' Reg Celebrates 25 Years of Little River Stewardship!
The DRCC is excited to help celebrate the many years of dedicated service that the Little River Enhancement Group (Lil' Reg) has provided to the Little River watershed!
 
Since 1989, local schools and community volunteers have helped with Lil' Reg's efforts to improve the ecological health of the watershed. IFebruary 1991, the Little River Enhancement Group was created by educators and representatives of the City of Windsor, Ontario Ministry of Environment, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Riverside Secondary School and the Habitat 2000 Club Concord School. Lil' Reg "adopted" the Little River Watershed, which drains portions of the Town of Tecumseh and the City of Windsor into the Detroit River. Community volunteers have participated in 36 clean up events of the Little River Watershed, cleaning up several natural areas along the twelve kilometre river valley. Volunteers have filled dumpsters with tonnes of debris and garbage, including: refrigerators, hot water tanks, bed springs and kitchen sinks. Efforts to recycle tires, and paper and steel products have been successful but shopping carts in the river continue to be a challenge. Lil' Reg volunteers have also participated in 86 planting events within the Little River Watershed and celebrate Arbor Day and Earth Week by participating in community planting activities. They have planted native species of trees and shrubs in numerous locations throughout the river basin. Some species include: Tulip Tree, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Dogwoods, Oaks, Red Cedar and Maples. Lil' Reg volunteers hold seasonal meetings to plan spring and autumn activities and discuss future projects. Once a year, at the Annual General Meeting, long term projects are discussed and volunteer efforts are celebrated. The group also sponsors walking/ bicycle/ vehicle tours of the publicly accessible portions of the watershed. 
 
The official date of Lil' Reg's 25th anniversary is February 16, 2016 but the celebrating has already begun! On January 13, Ian Naisbitt delivered a presentation to the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club on the history of the group, and on January 21, Lil' Reg was awarded a Conservation Award from the Essex Region Conservation Authority for Volunteer Group of the Year. Stay tuned for more celebratory events in 2016! 

Ian Naisbitt (centre) accepts an ERCA Conservation Award on behalf of Lil' Reg. Image courtesy of ERCA.
Wildlife in the Detroit River Watershed
Bird Counts
The Detroit River Christmas Bird Count took place on January 1, 2016 and the Little River Birding Excursion on January 9, 2016. Fifty-four species were observed during the Detroit River Christmas Bird Count (Canadian side) and 44 species during the Little River Birding Excursion, including more than 4000 Canvasbacks. Thank you to all the volunteers who participated in the counts and to Kory Renaud for sharing his photos from the Little River Birding Excursion!
 
  Tufted Titmouse (photo: Kory Renaud)                                 White-breasted Nuthatch (photo: Kory Renaud)

Beavers on Peche Island
Thanks to Jim Kemp for sharing his photos of beaver activity on Peche Island! Do you have any wildlife sightings or photos taken within the Detroit River watershed? Send them to the DRCC so that we can share them with others who are interested in the improving health of the Detroit River ecosystem.
 
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.
SHIVER ON THE RIVER
February 6, 2016: 10:00am-3:00pm
Belle Isle, MI

On the first Saturday in February each year, the Friends of the Detroit River hosts the Shiver on the River. The Shiver is a family oriented event, designed to bring people down to the river and to Belle Isle Park, and to educate people about the importance of the river and the need for effective stewardship of the river and its environs. The event is based at the historic Belle Isle Casino, and involves most of the venues on the island, including the Belle Isle Aquarium, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the Belle Isle Nature Zoo, the Dossin Museum, the Detroit Yacht Club, the Detroit Boat Club, and the U.S. Coast Guard Station. There are environmental displays and children's activities at the Casino, an ice rescue (weather permitting) demonstration by the Coast Guard, and other attractions at the various island sites. It is a great opportunity to get outside in the winter and discover the many wonderful attractions at Belle Isle Park. Click here for a list of activities. For more information, contact the Friends of the Detroit River (734-288-3889).
ESSEX COUNTY FIELD NATURALISTS' MEETING
February 10, 2016: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

Flight of the Monarch
Although a number of insect species migrate, the Monarch migration is truly amazing, rivalling that of many bird species. Vic Bernyk of Native Trees and Plants (NTP) will give a general overview of the Monarch from its life cycle to behavioural and morphological changes it must undergo to make this migration possible. The role of native plants utilized for reproduction and food will be explored. In addition, some little known facts and personal observations and thoughts on this species will be presented. Everyone is welcome!
BELLE ISLE STEWARDSHIP DAY
February 20, 2016: 9:00am-noon
Nashua Trail, Belle Isle, MI

On Stewardship Saturdays, volunteers can help remove invasive plant species from the island. The purpose of this task is the preservation of Belle Isle's old growth forest by pinpointing invasive plants such as honeysuckle and privet, the primary invaders. These plants do not provide the proper nutrition for migratory birds. It's sort of like providing "junk food" for birds. Plants like these create monocultures in the forest understory, crowding out native plants that are nutritious for birds. Ecological balance is our prime concern. Please join us in doing work that is so needed in Belle Isle's natural areas. It's a small commitment, the work is not taxing, and safety is a priority. We start at 9 a.m. and end at noon. Please no children under age six. All children must be supervised by an adult. Please contact the Nature Zoo for activities for small children. To sign up for these activities please RSVP to Laurel Malvitz (313-331-7760).
TREE PLANTING AND CARE WORKSHOP
February 25, 2016: 6:30pm-8:00pm
Essex Civic Centre, 360 Fairview Avenue West, Essex

This exciting and dynamic workshop will discuss ways in which you can get involved in the reforestation of Essex County. Learn about the environmental benefits of tree planting, grants and financial assistance to landowners for planting trees, the different tree planting techniques and the ways to care for your future forests and special shade trees. Event is free but pre-registration is required. Space is limited. Register here.
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.