April 2016
A monthly newsletter to keep you informed about the Detroit River.

Message from the RAP Coordinator
Plenty of ways to get involved this spring to help improve water quality in your river, streams, and lakes. This is the month to plant some trees or clean up a beach! Cleaning up our beaches and waterways helps to keep microplastics out of our Great Lakes. To learn more about microplastics or to participate in a clean up or tree planting, check out the events listings below.

Doing some spring maintenance around your house? We've already seen plenty of April showers already! Disconnecting downspouts and installing a rain barrel are two ways you can help reduce the volume of sewage that could end up in the Detroit River untreated and protect your basement from flooding.
  • Disconnecting downspouts allows rainwater to flow onto lawns freeing up capacity in the sewers during storms.
  • Installing a rain barrel will help you conserve water, as rain water collected during a storm can be used to water your garden on dry days.
f you'd like more information or have questions, please email postmaster@detroitriver.ca.

Claire Sanders
Remedial Action Plan Coordinator  
Detroit River Canadian Cleanup
Water Quality in Ontario 2014 Report
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change released the Water Quality in Ontario 2014 Report last month. The Water Quality in Ontario 2014 Report addresses water quality in all of Ontario's natural waters, including the Great Lakes, inland lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater. The report is now available on www.ontario.ca:
Calling all Green Teams
Windsor - The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup and the Essex Region Conservation Authority are putting the call out to community organizations and individuals to help plant tees and celebrate Earth Day! On Sunday, April 24th from 10am-12noon, DRCC and ERCA will host the annual Earth Day Tree Planting Celebration at Florence & McHugh, just east of the WFCU Centre in Windsor. More than 2000 trees will be planted at this free community event, which celebrates the act of coming together to help the environment.
"Earth Day is about taking action - all of us working together to protect our watersheds and restore natural areas to help improve our quality of life and the attractiveness of this region," explains Danielle Breault Stuebing, ERCA's Director of Community Outreach Services.
"Planting trees helps improve water quality and provides habitat for wildlife along Little River, which ultimately improves the Detroit River," says Remedial Action Plan Coordinator, Claire Sanders. Last year, more than 800 citizens came out to make a positive impact on their community and local environment. For many, the tree planting event has become an annual tradition.
Besides families and individuals, ERCA also welcomes any groups, from private businesses to community organizations, to participate as Green Teams. "Green Teams are a great way of organizational team building, and many businesses, church groups, service clubs and others come out year after year as a way to celebrate Earth Day," Breault Stuebing adds. While everyone is welcome and guests don't have to participate as part of a team to plant trees, any groups who do pre-register as a Green Team with a minimum of ten members will be recognized with a plaque during the opening ceremony for their support of the event.
The Green Team registration form can be found online at http://erca.org/earthday/.
Habitat Restoration at Spring Garden
Windsor - The Spring Garden Natural Area, an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI) within the Detroit River watershed, underwent a significant transformation last month, aimed at restoring and improving its outstanding habitat values. "Spring Garden has been identified as provincially, regionally, and locally significant because it is an outstanding example of remnant prairie, savannah and oak woodland vegetation," explains Karen Cedar, City of Windsor Park Naturalist. "It offers very rare and important habitat values, but these values are presently at risk due to invasive species such as the Autumn Olive, which is threatening the area's biodiversity." Cedar notes that this invasive, woody shrub can negatively impact the many provincially rare flora and fauna species, including a number of species at risk.
A collaborative effort between the Essex Region Conservation Authority, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and the City of Windsor has started to restore the habitat values of the Spring Garden area. "A comprehensive restoration plan [was] drafted by a team of professional biologists and gives significant consideration to the protective measures to be taken for each of the species that inhabit this sensitive area," explains Kevin Money, Director of Conservation Services for the Essex Region Conservation Authority and project lead.
As part of permits received for construction of the Rt. Hon. Herb Gray Parkway, MTO is required to restore habitat for species at risk. Upon completion of this work, over 130 hectares of land will have been restored or enhanced for both Eastern Foxsnake and Butler's Gartersnake, as well a host of other prairie and savannah species.
A prescribed burn is planned within the next year to further regenerate the prairie and savannah habitats." We are most excited about the ultimate impact this restoration project will have for these endangered ecosystems," Cedar concludes.
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.
April 9, 2016: doors open at 6:00pm
Wyandotte Boat Club, 1 Pine Street, Wyandotte, MI

Help the Friends of the Detroit River keep the Detroit Riverkeeper boat out on the water! You are cordially invited to attend the annual Riverkeeper Fundraising Dinner. Enjoy a catered dinner, door prizes, raffle, silent auction and a presentation on Belle Island restoration projects and the Riverkeeper Program. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.detroitriver.org
April 9-10, 2016
Jack Miner Homestead, 360 Road 3 West, Kingsville

From contests for duck and goose calling, children's activities, a Sportsmens' Yard Sale, trout pond, vendors, and a 151st Birthday party for Jack Miner, this is an event you won't want to miss! Admission is free (Birthday Bash dinner, $25/per person). For more information, call 519-733-4034 or visit www.jackminer.ca.
April 10, 2016: 8:30am
Point Pelee National Park, 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington

Meet Essex County Field Naturalists' Club members in the Point Pelee Visitor Centre Parking Lot. We'll hike the trails at Point Pelee in search of early spring migrants including waterfowl, warblers and other songbirds. After a lunch break, we'll meet at Hillman Marsh in the early afternoon to explore the Shorebird Cell for early shorebirds/waterfowl. Everyone is welcome!
April 13, 2016: 7:30pm
Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor

NCC in Southwestern Ontario
The Nature Conservancy of Canada will provide an overview of how NCC works and how they focus their efforts, highlighting a few key areas, including Pelee Island and Essex County mainland, and current projects. The Nature Conservancy of Canada's approach to ecological restoration, properties to visit and volunteer opportunities will be profiled.
April 16, 2016: 9:00am-noon
Nashua Trail, Belle Isle, MI

Join the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy for stewardship Saturdays. Our focus is cutting invasive shrubs, especially glossy and common buckthorn and honeysuckle, to restore the wet mesic flatwoods on the island. We will work in areas that are wet much of the year and (hopefully) have an easier time getting through them while things are frozen. Meet on Woodside Drive at the trailhead parking area just north of the canal bridge. From The Strand, pass the athletic fields and Vista Drive, then turn left at the next road (there is a brick bathroom building at the corner). For more information, contact Laurel Malvitz at 313-331-7760. Register here.
April 23, 2016: 9:00am-2:00pm
202 Grosse Ile Parkway, Trenton, MI

Volunteers will be ferried out to various islands and shorelines in the Lower Detroit River to collect the debris that has accumulated over the past year. The clean up gives volunteers the opportunity to help make the river cleaner, as well as to get out on the river and to appreciate the need for stewardship of this valuable resource. Volunteers and the trash collected are returned to the park, where lunch is served. Click here for more information.
April 23, 2016: 7:00pm
Point Pelee National Park, 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington

Spring is here and love is in the air. Take a stroll through the swamp forest with a park interpreter and hear the nocturnal courtship songs of Point Pelee's frogs and toads. Meet at the Visitor Centre. Stay later and enjoy the other night sights and sounds. Park open until midnight. Cost: $7.80/adult, $6.80/senior, $19.60/group. For more information, call 519-322-2365 ext. 0.
April 24, 2016: 10:00am-3:00pm
Malden Park, 4200 Malden Road, Windsor

Visit DRCC at Earth Day! Earth Day is a day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment. This is an annual event, free for the public. There will be over 40 environmental exhibits, wildflower planting, a vegetable seed exchange, nature scavenger hunt and many more environmental activities! Also, make sure to stop by the Essex County Field Naturalists' Club's bake sale! For more information, click here. 
April 24, 2016: 10:00am-noon
McHugh Street and Florence Avenue, Windsor

Dig out your shovel and join us in planting hundreds of trees to celebrate Earth Day and help continue to make our community a little greener. Make fun nature crafts and enjoy other Earth Day themed activities. Visit http://erca.org/earthday/ for details.
April 26, 2016: 7:00pm
Katzman Lounge, University of Windsor 

Learn about the latest science on microplastics in the Great Lakes, local organizations tackling this issue, and how you can get involved. Event sponsored by the International Joint Commission and Unifor Regional Environmental Council.
April 29-May 18, 2016: 5:00am-10:00pm
Point Pelee National Park, 1118 Point Pelee Drive, Leamington

Located at the crossroads of major migration routes, Point Pelee National Park welcomes thousands of birds and birdwatchers alike each spring. Dedicated to the protection and presentation of this unique part of Canada, Point Pelee National Park is home to a diversity of species seen few other places in the country. For more information, click here.
April 27, 2016: 4:30-6:30pm
Location: TBD
The Detroit River Canadian Public Advisory Council (PAC) is comprised of individuals with an interest in the health of the Detroit River. The PAC provides a route through which the public can provide input on the cleanup of the Detroit River. For more information or to RSVP for the meeting, please contact Claire Sanders at 519-776-5209 ext356. 
April 30, 2016: 10:00am
Little River, Ganatchio Trail  

Come help the Little River Enhancement Group (Lil' Reg) celebrate 25 years of tree plantings and clean ups! Twenty-five large trees will be planted and a commemorative plaque unveiled to acknowledge the many years of stewardship this volunteer group has dedicated to the health of Little River. Parking available across from Sandpoint Beach at Riverside Drive and Florence Avenue. Follow the Ganatchio Trail to the west of the parking lot, south to the planting site. 
May 1, 2016: 11:00am-4:00pm
915 County Road 50, Harrow

Help the John R. Park Homestead Conservation Area by donating quality items in advance or coming out and treasure hunting on the day! Treasures old and new. There is something for everyone at this giant sale.
May 1, 2016: 1:00pm
Kopegaron Woods CA, 752 Talbot Road, Leamington

Join the Essex County Field Naturalists on a hike along one of the most beautiful forest boardwalk trails in the region. While exploring this 19 hectare Carolinian woodland, you'll see Tulip-tree, Sassafras, Black Gum, Sycamore and Flowering Dogwood trees, as well as wildflowers such as Trillium, Jack-in-the-pulpit, May Apple, Spring Beauty and Columbine, to mention just a few. The boardwalk through the swampy areas has been completely rebuilt. Everyone is welcome!
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.