Education and Public Involvement

Each year, the DRCC works with community partners and members on a wide range of education opportunities relating to the Detroit River. This page provides a summary of some of the different programs that are taking place along the Detroit River Canadian AOC. For more information, please visit our Annual Review (yearly reports) and DRCC Publications pages.

Celebration of World Rivers Day

The DRCC celebrated World Rivers Day on Saturday September 24th 2016 with the Windsor Port Authority and Windsor Adventure Inc. The celebration included a litter clean up in McKee Park and along Russell Street as well as kayak demonstrations from Windsor Adventure Inc. This celebration also highlighted the re-designation of two beneficial use impairments (BUIs) recognized by the Canadian RAP plan including Beach Closures and Degradation of Aesthetics. Special thanks to Peter Berry, Windsor Port Authority’s Harbourmaster and Wayne Bates of Windsor Adventure Inc. for helping to make this event a success!

World Rivers Day Celebration on the Detroit River Gallery

Benthic Education Program

In 2015, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup joined up with ERCA to educate students on the importance of protecting water quality and how we use benthic invertebrates (insects) as a way to monitor environmental health. The program consisted of an introductory classroom visit, a field trip to collect benthic invertebrates within the Detroit River watershed, and a follow-up lesson spent identifying organisms and drawing conclusions from the community assemblages present.

 Screening of PROJECT: ICE

The DRCC’s 7th annual film screening was yet another sold out event, with almost 200 people in attendance. This year’s film was PROJECT: ICE, an award-winning documentary detailing the history, geology and science of the Great Lakes, and the importance of ice. The film explained the interconnectedness of the Great Lakes and people, and highlighted the importance of this shared resource. Whether interested in history, geology, pond hockey and ice fishing, or significant environmental threats to the Great Lakes, there’s something in this movie that everyone could connect with. We were very lucky to have Executive Producer and Director, William Kleinert, on hand to introduce and provide context for his film! A big thank you to our expert panel members – William Kleinert, Dr. Henry Pollack (University of Michigan), and Karina Richters (City of Windsor) – for participating in the informative discussion following the film. They did a terrific job of making local connections to the film and sharing what they
believe a changing climate means for water quality in the Detroit River and our local watersheds.

State of the Detroit River Boat Tour

The Citizens Environment Alliance hosted another successful boat tour in 2015! Guest speakers included John Hartig (Manager of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge), Nick Schroeck (Director of the Transnational Environmental Law Clinic, Wayne State University), Phil Roberts (Executive Director of Parks, City of Windsor), and Peter Werbe as Master of Ceremonies.


The Ojibway Prairie Complex is an ecologically important area within the Detroit River watershed with incredible biodiversity. The second Ojibway Prairie BioBlitz, an event aimed at cataloguing as many species as possible within a 24-hour period, was held in July 2015. Over 400 volunteers and 50 experts scoured the area for plants, bugs, moss, fungus, birds, and mammals. The event also provided a number of family friendly activities and workshops for all levels of expertise. Results are continuing to come in as species are identified in labs by volunteers, but the count is estimated at roughly 2400 species surpassing the 2014 total of 1121 species!

5th Annual Detroit River Evening

The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup’s 5th annual Detroit River Evening was held on June 16, 2015 at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER). The event was a huge success. With close to 70 people in attendance it was our most well-attended annual meeting yet! Updates on projects aimed at restoring and protecting the Detroit River were given, and well-received, stimulating many questions from the audience. Special thanks to Jon Bondy, our guest speaker, who spoke about his lifelong experiences on the Detroit River and shared observations of the improvements he has witnessed first-hand. Jon is a local fishing guide who has been fishing the Detroit River since childhood. He has spent over 20 years guiding the Detroit River and has been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles, as well as on local and national TV.

State of the Strait

Last year’s State of the Strait conference was held at Eastern Michigan University in December 2015. The theme was “Coordinating Conservation in the St. Clair-Detroit River System.” Many government managers, researchers, students, concerned citizens, and environmental and conservation organizations attended, including the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup. Topics covered ranged from, Lake Erie’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy to chironomid monitoring in the Detroit River. The State of the Strait is a binational conference that takes place every two years.

Happy 25th Anniversary, Lil Reg!

In February 2016, the Little River Enhancement Group (Lil’ Reg) celebrated 25 years of on-the-ground stewardship in the Little River watershed! Lil’ Reg was created in 1991 by 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 at the former Concord Public Elementary 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. Since then, volunteers have participated in 37 cleanups and 88 planting events, where they planted over 34,000 trees and shrubs!

Cleanup Events and Community Tree Plantings

The DRCC supports community cleanups and tree planting activities through our member organizations. Not only do these activities improve habitat quality for plants and animals, they also enhance the quality of life for local residents. More than 1000 people and 40 Green Teams attended the Earth Day 2016 celebrations in the Little River watershed, and planted more than 2000 trees!

Wastewater: Where does it go?

Have you ever wondered what happens to water and other substances when they are flushed down our drains and toilets? It shouldn’t be a mystery, and the City of Windsor and the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup initiative have partnered to create a wastewater video to help de-mystify the topic, and educate viewers.

Everything we put down our drains can have a big impact on our home and our environment. For example, there are many household items that are branded as ‘flushable’ that shouldn’t be put down the toilet. Same goes with old, expired medication — wastewater treatment plants were never designed to remove those substances from water.

The video follows the flow of wastewater from a home in Windsor to one of two places: the wastewater treatment plant or the Detroit River. Using stunning graphics, the video highlights where the water goes, tips on what you should and shouldn’t put down the drain, and how our wastewater gets treated before being released into the Detroit River. 

Number one, number two and TP…toilet paper — is the video’s final reminder, and the message the partners hope that viewers retain. View the video by clicking ‘Play’ below:

DRCC Community Outreach Gallery

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.