The Round Greenbrier – “Threatened” under Species at Risk Act
The Round-leaved Greenbrier is a plant species listed as ‘Threatened’ under the Species at Risk Act. This wood-climbing vine has oval- to heart-shaped leaves and woody stems that are armed with prickles. In Ontario, this species can be found in Essex County, Norfolk County and the Niagara Region in moist deciduous forests typically dominated by Red Maple, Red Oak or Pin Oak trees.
High intensity logging, alterations to the moisture regime, and habitat loss and fragmentation are identified as major threats to the Round-leaved Greenbrier’s survival. During the 60-day consultation period now underway, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) is seeking any information you may have about the species and its needs, as well as threats to the species or its habitat. ECCC is also seeking your views on the conservation and protection measures proposed in the recovery strategy. This threatened wood-climbing vine may exist in your area and you can help protect it.!
You are invited view the document and provide your comments online at www.sararegistry.gc.ca (click on Get Involved – Public Consultations).
Hinterland Who’s Who videos available in Indigenous languages
The Canadian Wildlife Federation has published several videos in six Indigenous languages as a part of the Hinterland Who’s Who series. These videos celebrate and honour Canada’s 150th anniversary and provide education to the public on Canadian wildlife. The Canadian Wildlife Federation started making videos in English and French in the 1960s but this is the first time they have been released in Indigenous languages. All of videos found on their site here, highlight the wolverine and freshwater turtle are available in Woods Cree, Denesulinem Inuktituk, Mohawk, Oji-Cree and Ojibew. These two species are important to Indigenous culture and are found in many First Nation, Inuit and Metis legends.
The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Recognizes World Wetlands Day
World Wetlands Day, February 2, 2017
Each year, World Wetlands Day is recognized on February 2nd, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Ramsar, Iran on February 2nd 1971. This internationally celebrated day began in 1997 with the goal to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands, the value and benefit they play in communities, and promote conservation of these areas.
Prior to first European settlers in the Detroit River watershed, the area was abundant with fish, wildlife, coastal wetlands and unspoiled drinking water. This appreciation was written in history in an account by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac in 1901, “The banks [of the river] are so many vast meadows where the freshness of these beautiful streams keeps the grass always green. [The area is] so temperate, so fertile and so beautiful that it may justly be called the earthly paradise of North America.”
The landscape since then has significantly changed. Agriculture, intense urbanization, and industrialization led to a loss of 97% of the original wetlands and, consequently, the Detroit River suffered habitat and biodiversity loss. For this reason, among others, the river was designated as one of the original 43 Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) in the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) in 1987.
Detroit River Coastal Wetlands
As part of the road to recovery, the DRCC implements the Remedial Action Plan (RAP) for the Canadian side of the Detroit River Area of Concern. Wetlands play a significant role in the Detroit River watershed by providing habitat and a place to rest, feed and breed for many of the diverse species in our area. They also help minimize erosion along the banks and shorelines of the river. Wetlands act as water filters by removing nutrients and sediments from runoff, help stabilize the water table and the local climate as well as offer recreational opportunities like hunting, fishing, bird-watching and exploring.
The importance of wetlands are recognized within the RAP Stage 2 plan and the Pathway to Delisting guidance documents. There are a variety of programs initiated by DRCC partners that aim to study and evaluate the quality of the existing wetlands, increase the amount of wetlands, and educate the public about the importance and value of wetlands in the Detroit River Area of Concern. The collaboration between many organizations help to protect existing coastal wetland habitat and restore the function in priority areas such as the marshes in Canard River, Turkey Creek, along the channel and on Fighting and Peche Islands.
What state are the Detroit River wetlands in?
Environment Canada released the Detroit River and St. Clair River Area of Concerns (AOCs): Coastal Wetland Habitat Assessment Report 2013 Update which showed wetland conditions in the Detroit River ranged from ‘very degraded’ to ‘good’ for the water quality, aquatic vegetation, sediment dwelling organisms and bird communities. Work done by the Canadian Wildlife Service has shown no net loss to date with wetland area, but the wetlands are fragmented or disconnected and patchy.
What are some species that use the Detroit River wetlands?
Some of the more common species you might come across in a Detroit River wetland include: White Water Lily, Cattail, Reed Canary Grass, Canada Waterweed, American Bittern, Mallard, Tree Swallow, Great Blue Heron, Northern Leopard Frog, American Bullfrog, Marsh Marigold, many different types dragonflies, damselflies, and butterflies, Green Frog, Muskrat and more!
What are some of the effects of wetland degradation?
Wetlands help filter water, and when they are not able to function properly, this can lead to local water pollution from non-point sources such as agriculture in the Detroit River. This then can lead to nutrient enrichment or eutrophication (mainly phosphates and nitrates) which can cause algae blooms in Lake Erie.
Pollution in the water and sediments affect organisms that feed off the bottom of wetlands or foraging insects known as benthic invertebrates.
Fragmented and/or degraded wetland habitat can impact aquatic bird communities and fish species. Smaller habitat area can degrade populations of these species if sites become unsuitable or too small to breed, feed, mate and raise their young.
Invasive species affect wetlands especially when fragmentation or area loss occurs. Invasive species can alter wetland habitat structure, reduce biodiversity and can shift the water table in the local area.
Associated Beneficial Use Impairments (BUIs)
Degradation of Fish and Wildlife Populations
Fish Tumours or other Deformities
Bird/Animal Deformities and/or Other Reproductive Problems
Degradation of Benthos
Loss of Fish and Wildlife Habitat
Who is responsible for monitoring the Detroit River wetlands?
The collaboration between many organizations help to protect existing coastal wetland habitat and restore the function in priority areas. For example, the Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program has monitored wetland bird and amphibian populations binationally since 1995 with the help of Bird Studies Canada, Essex Region Conservation Authority, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and dedicated volunteers. In addition, through the Canadian Wildlife Services branch of Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring program is administered to monitor wetland wildlife communities (marsh birds, aquatic macroinvertebrates and submerged aquatic vegetation), habitat and water quality.
What is taking place to protect, restore and enhance the amount of wetlands in the Detroit River?
The RAP Stage 2 and Pathway to Delisting guiding documents recognize the importance of wetlands. There are varieties of programs initiated by the DRCC that aim to understand, increase the amount of wetlands and educate the public about the importance of wetlands in the Detroit River Area of Concern. The collaboration between many organizations help to protect existing coastal wetland habitat and restore the function in priority areas.
Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring program monitors wetland wildlife communities (marsh birds, aquatic macroinvertebrates and submerged aquatic vegetation), habitat and water quality.
Wetland creation opportunities are hosted by the Essex Region Conservation Authority and the Essex County Stewardship Network to support Detroit River watershed landowners
The Habitat Work Group of the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup is creating a decision matrix for prioritizing potential sites for restoration within the river system. This program will help evaluate and rank the potential actions that could take place to help guide restoration. This decision matrix will be useful in future to identify new sites, actions and best practices as the RAP moves forward with delisting impaired fish habitat that benefits both fisheries and aquatic diversity.
Community organizations such as the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, Essex Region Conservation Authority, the Essex County Field Naturalists Club, Little River Enhancement Group, Friends of Canard River, Friends of Turkey Creek Watershed have hosted cleanups and plantings in the Detroit River and three sub-watersheds to improve habitat quantity and quality.
What can individuals do to help protect the Detroit River wetlands?
Always dispose solid and liquid hazardous and non-hazardous waste properly. It is important to be environmentally responsible and take care of the Detroit River system! Visit Windsor Essex Solid Waste Authority’s website http://www.ewswa.org/ for information regarding waste disposal in Essex region.
This includes not pouring anything down the storm drain.
If you see illegal dumping or a spill in and along the water channel, report it using any of the following ways:
1-800-265-7672 (area code 519 only)
Public Information Centre: 1-800-565-4923
Spills Action Centre: 1-800-268-6060
Pollution Hotline: 1-866-663-8477
Watch the DRCC videos Wastewater: Where does it go? and 1, 2, and TP, that’s it! Visit our site: detroitriver.ca/media.
Avoid water activities such as washing your vehicle in areas where the wastewater will flow into the storm sewer. Washing on a lawn or gravel surface allows wastewater to be absorbed by soil below
Keep the storm sewers clean and void of litter and debris during heavy rain events. Rainwater is the only liquid that should go down the storm sewers!
Disconnecting downspouts frees up capacity in the sewers during a storm event as they allow water to flow across the lawn. Also installing a rain barrel will collect this water during a storm and can be used in your garden on dry days. Both these actions help reduce the volume of sewage and or runoff that can end up in the Detroit River untreated.
Detroit River Coastal Wetlands Gallery
CWS – Public consultations bait and hunting of Migratory Game Birds/ Consultation publique restrictions concernant l’appâtage
(le français suit)
The Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment and Climate Change Canada is currently holding consultations on proposals related to baiting and hunting of migratory game birds.
This current consultation is a continuation of the revision process of the Migratory Birds Regulations initiated in 2014 and relates specifically to issues associated with baiting and the hunting of migratory birds.
By mail to: Director, Wildlife Management and Regulatory Affairs, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada K1A 0H3
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Le Service canadien de la faune d’Environnement et Changement climatique Canada tient présentement des consultations sur l’appâtage et la chasse aux oiseaux migrateurs.
La présente consultation s’inscrit dans le cadre du processus de révision du Règlement sur les oiseaux migrateurs débuté en 2014, et porte spécifiquement sur les enjeux associés à l’appâtage et la chasse aux oiseaux migrateurs.
Veuillez-vous reporter au document de consultation ci-joint pour obtenir une description détaillée des enjeux liés à l’appâtage et les raisons qui ont motivées l’établissement des propositions de changement à la réglementation ou veuillez consulter le site web suivant :
Par la poste à : Directrice, Division de la gestion de la faune et affaires réglementaires, Service canadien de la faune, Environnement et Changement climatique Canada, Gatineau (Québec), Canada K1A 0H3
Service Canadien de la Faune
Environnement et Changement climatique Canada
Essex Region Conservation Authority recognizes Tom Henderson, DRCC PAC Chair
Tom Henderson, the DRCC Public Advisory Council Chair was recognized with the Volunteer Award at the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s 2016 Conservation Awards ceremony on January 18th 2017. He received the award because of his dedication for more than 25 years of volunteering to improve the Little River and the Detroit River watersheds.
The passage below taken from the ERCA AGM Pamphlet describes his positive impact in the community:
Tom Henderson has been along-time environmental advocate.He mentored many by planting thousands of native trees, and leading and participating in countless river cleanups, all of which have contributed to the Essex Region’s improving environment.His volunteer efforts have gone on for decades. He participated in stream cleanups with his late son, Jim, during his years as a student at Concord Public School. Tom was so inspired that he went on the help establish the Little River Enhancement Group, affectionately known as ‘Lil REG. The work of this group over the past 25 years has won much recognition for its positive environmental outcomes, as well as for educating the public regarding the importance of the Little River to our community. Thanks in large part to the volunteer efforts of Tom and the group, this watershed is now alive with a growing abundance of flora and fauna.
Tom has dedicated much of his retired life to continuing his environmental volunteerism. He has been involved in the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup since the late 90s, and continues to serve as Chair of its Public Advisory Council. He effectively communicates through emails, phone calls, letters to the editor, and in-person meetings. He regularly contacts federal, provincial, and city officials to request and provide information regarding issues in our local environment. He has attended countless open houses and meetings of environmental interest about the Little River and Detroit River Watersheds, and has been especially vigilant in his efforts to bring attention to the importance of Ojibway Shores.
Tom Henderson has the ability and credibility to bring community environmentalists together to pool their resources in a successful effort to improve the quality of life for the plants, wildlife and people of Essex County. He is a sincere and diligent environmental steward. His nominators state, “It has been an honour to work with Tom improving the ecosystem health of the Little River and Detroit River Watersheds.
2016 Conservation Awards Gallery
To read the ERCA media release, please click here.
Your 🚽toilet🚽 is not a garbage can! Wondering what can go down and what can’t be flushed? Check out or wastewater video we created with City of Windsor ! Hint, #1, # 2 and toilet paper, that’s it. #worldtoiletday #detroitriver#greatlakes
TD Tree Day Windsor 2019 Gina Pannunzio, Kelly Laforest and Ian Naisbitt Woke up today and checked the foreboding weather forecast: “Frost advisory […]
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.
What is the DRCC?
The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup implements the Remedial Action Plan on behalf of a community-based partnership between the government (federal, provincial, municipal), local industries, researchers, environmental organizations and citizens working together to protect, restore and enhance the Detroit River ecosystem.