ERCA Uses 3D Modeling to Target Water Quality

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.”

September 26, 2015: Canada South Coast Bike Tour

Windsor-Essex Cycles! The Canada South Coast Bike Tour will take place on September 26 from 9:00am-2:00pm, starting at the Vollmer Centre in LaSalle. Participate in a 12 km/32 km or 70 km ride on the Greenway or tour the region and stop at some of our Conservation Areas on the 58 km or 112 km road routes. All funds raised will be used to construct the Essex-Amherstburg Greenway trail. Register for the tour at

ERCA’s Y.E.S. Team Visits Fighting Island

On Monday, August 24, members of ERCA’s Y.E.S.(Youth Engagement Strategy) Team visited BASF’s Fighting Island. Fighting Island is one of several islands within the Detroit River, and has a storied history of industrial use, restoration, and environmental education. Four BASF employees met the Y.E.S. Team and provided us with a great overview of this history, then kindly loaned us ‘gators’ for the morning to enable us to travel the entire perimeter of the island.
We had glorious weather for our tour! We saw loads of turtles, had great views of the Michigan side of the river, identified native and invasive plants, and discussed how BASF and the island have played a significant role in the clean up of the Detroit River. There was much going on on the island that morning. It is an active corporate retreat and education centre, and we appreciated BASF taking the time to make our visit so enjoyable!

The Y.E.S. Team is a group of youth aged 13-25 interested in making a positive impact on the local Windsor-Essex environment. Are you under 25 and interested in getting involved with the Y.E.S. Team? Please contact Caroline Biribauer for more information!

September 9, 2015: DRCC Public Advisory Council Meeting

Join the Public Advisory Council (PAC) of the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup for a meeting to discuss Detroit River issues. The meeting will be held on Sept. 9, beginning at 4:30, at the Windsor Airport (Conference Room). 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 to if you plan on attending or for more information.

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.