January 13, 2016: Little River Enhancement Group History

January 13, 2016: 7:30 p.m. – Ojibway Nature Centre, 5200 Matchette Road, Windsor
Join the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club to learn about Lil’ Reg! Ian Naisbitt was an elementary school educator for 30 years and created the Habitat 2000 Club at Concord School in 1989, organizing 6 river cleanups of the “old channel” of Little River in East Windsor. In 1991, he helped establish the Little River Enhancement Group, which consisted of educators and representatives of the City of Windsor, Ontario Ministry of Environment and Energy, Essex Region Conservation Authority, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Habitat 2000 Club Concord Public Elementary School (1989-1990). Accordingly, Lil’ Reg “adopted” the Little River Watershed, which drains portions of the Town of Tecumseh and the City of Windsor into the Detroit River. Local schools and community volunteers have helped with Lil’ Reg’s efforts to improve the quality of the watershed ecosystem. The group coordinates beneficial environmental activities throughout the river basin using a multi-stakeholder approach in the community and both Ian and Lil’ Reg have won numerous awards for their contributions. In 2007, Lil’ Reg restructured and became a committee of Essex County Nature.

Protecting Ojibway Shores

Controversy sparked in 2013 when the possibility of clearcutting Ojibway Shores, Windsor’s last remaining natural shoreline along the Detroit River, was considered. Local environmentalists fought hard for the property’s protection. Since then, discussions have taken place surrounding the protection of Ojibway Shores but the fate of the property remains “in limbo.”

For more information on the fight to protect Ojibway Shores, visit the links below:

Support for Ojibway Shores is strong (December 19, 2013)
Port Authority allows biological study of Ojibway Shores (April 25, 2014)
Fate of Windsor wilderness on Detroit River remains in limbo (November 22, 2015)
Dilkens urges Ottawa to protect Ojibway Shores (December 14, 2015)

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 (sanders@detroitriver.ca) by December 7th in order to have it reviewed by the Steering and Implementation Committee. Application documents can be accessed below and are due Friday, January 8, 2016


2016-17 GLSF RFP Cover Letter

Attachment 1 2016-17 GLSF General Funding Criteria Final

Attachment 2 2016-17 Remedial Action Plan Contacts and Web Sites Final

Attachment 3- 2016-17 GLSF Application Package Final

Attachment 4-2016-17 Project Cash Flow Final

December 9, 2015: State of the Strait Conference

Coordinating Conservation in the St. Clair-Detroit River System 

December 9, 2015 – 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.”

There is a need to prioritize research, monitor effectiveness, and adaptively manage coastal systems throughout the Great Lakes. The same is true in the St. Clair-Detroit River System, where diverse partnerships are contributing to the conservation, protection and enhancement of the region through research, planning and prioritization frameworks, as well as on-the-ground action that, if applied in a coordinated manner, could more effectively address regional needs and develop conservation solutions that equally enhance socioeconomic values. The 2015 State of the Strait will explore current efforts and new ways to maximize the effectiveness of conservation efforts being conducted by multiple agencies and organizations, and how we can amplify effectiveness through coordination and by incorporating socioeconomic factors into region conservation planning.

Admission to the conference is free but registration is required, as space is limited. For more information about the conference, visit www.stateofthestrait.org. Display space is available for conference sponsors and vendors.

Great Lakes Protection Act

Thank you to everyone whose contributions have helped make progress on Great Lakes protection and restoration over the last few years. We have heard from many of you about the vital importance of the Great Lakes and about how proposed Great Lakes legislation can best make a difference.

It is my great pleasure to let you know that the Ontario Legislature has taken action to keep the Great Lakes drinkable, fishable and swimmable by passing a strengthened Great Lakes Protection Act.

This new legislation will:

  • Help fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, protect wetlands and watersheds, and reduce harmful pollutants.
  • Establish a Great Lakes Guardians’ Council to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration on Great Lakes issues and priorities.
  • Enshrine Ontario’s Great Lakes Strategy, the Province’s action plan on the Great Lakes, as a living document to be reviewed every six years.
  • Help ensure monitoring programs and reporting processes are in place to improve understanding and management of the ecological health of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin.
  • Support setting targets and create new tools to take action with local partners in priority areas on pressing issues.
  • Require consideration of Traditional Ecological Knowledge if offered by First Nations or Métis communities.

A copy of the Great Lakes Protection Act may be found here.  Additional information on the Act can be found here.

This latest action – combined with our ongoing investments in Great Lakes protection – will help ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the benefits of a healthy Great Lakes system.

We look forward to continuing to work with communities across Ontario on our shared interest in Great Lakes protection and restoration.


Glen Murray

Get Involved!

From tree plantings and clean ups, to advocacy and education programs, CLICK HERE to find out how you can be involved with protecting and enhancing the Detroit River.