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. For more information on previous projects, please visit our Annual Review (yearly reports) and DRCC Publications pages.

 Canadian Heritage Rivers Day Celebration 

The DRCC along with Essex Region Conservation Authority and Windsor Adventure Inc. joined forces to celebrate the Canadian Heritage River System’s Canada 150 Project. We’re in the Eau Canada video below! 

 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. Two community cleanup events were held in the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017 with over 60 people participating. Ten tonnes of garbage were collected at these cleanup events!

Planting native trees and wildflowers restores lost habitat and increases biodiversity, while fostering environmental stewardship in the community. Through events held in the Detroit River watershed during the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 approximately 4,300 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers planted through the help of 973 fantastic volunteers. Additionally, more than 1,000 people and 76 Green Teams attended ERCA’s annual Earth Day 2017 celebrations in the Little River watershed, and planted more than 2,200 trees!

Detroit River Family Fishing Day, 2017

In partnership with Caesars Windsor Cares, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup (DRCC) hosted a free Family Fishing Day at Assumption Park in Windsor on July 8, 2017. This inaugural event took place during Ontario Family Fishing Event week when residents can fish in Ontario waters without the mandatory license. With the help of volunteers and expert anglers from Just Fishing Friends and the Windsor Sportsmen’s Club, over 100 participants experienced fishing on the Detroit River!

The DRCC was also on hand to provide information to participants about restoration and clean up projects, stats on increasing fish populations, and how to safely consume fish from the river. The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup would like to thank Wally’s Baits, the Windsor Sportsmen’s Club and the Lakeshore Sportsmen and Conservation Club for supporting this event and providing angling equipment donations for participants to take home! Special thanks to Just Fishin’ Friends for providing their expert angling advice and introducing participants to the sport. Big thanks to all our volunteers who made this event happen!

To see the CTV Windsor coverage, click here.

To see the photo gallery, click here.

Screening of WHAT LIES BELOW, 2017

The Detroit River Canadian Cleanup hosted two screenings of WHAT LIES BELOW at Lakeshore Cinemas on World Water Day, March 22 2017. Students from two local high schools joined us in the morning, and the evening screening was open to the public. This documentary examines the future of Canada’s wild fish stocks and the habitats they occupy that are at risk from overharvesting, habitat loss and destruction. What Lies Below explores what local people are doing to ensure the future sustainability of Canada’s water and traditional fisheries.

EAU Canada Paddling Day, 2017

As part of a national effort to recognize and celebrate Canada’s Heritage Rivers, as well as the country’s 150th birthday, the Essex Region Conservation Authority and a number of local partners hosted free paddling events throughout the Detroit River watershed on Sunday, June 4. Over 200 individuals were out on the Detroit River as a result!  The DRCC would like to thank the Canadian Heritage Rivers System as well as the Essex Region Conservation Authority for providing the opportunity to the community. As well, many thanks to Windsor Adventure Inc., Paddle Anywhere and River Canard Canoe Co. for their accommodations and getting people into the river! Also, big thanks to CTV Windsor for covering the Turkey Creek Cleanup. Check out the video online, the story starts at the 6 minute mark.

State of the Detroit River Boat Tour, 2017

With funding from the DRCC, the Citizens Environment Alliance hosted another successful boat tour in 2017! Guest speakers included Ted Briggs, Great Lakes Advisor, Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (Ontario). Ted is based in the Southwest Region, London, Ontario. Also, Doug Haffner, Professor and Senior Canada Research Chair, Great Lakes Research Institute, University of Windsor; Co-Director China-Canada Three Gorges Water Science Centre and Distinguished Research Fellow, Yunnan University. Last, Phil Roberts is the former Executive Director of Parks, City of Windsor. Previously, Phil was President of the Essex County Field Naturalists’ Club and a volunteer with the Citizens Environment Alliance. Pictures available here.

7th Annual Detroit River Evening 

Many thanks to everyone who came out to the Detroit River Evening on June 21st at the beautiful Windsor Yacht Club. We would also like to thank all of the presenters who provided updates including the work being done on Lake Sturgeon research and the launch of the Detroit River Delist AOC Metadata and Mapping System tool.
The evening ended with a special presentation by Marty Gervais, an award winning journalist, photographer, poet, playwright, historian, editor and teac her. His stories about the Detroit River were fascinating and showed that the river does define the Windsor Essex community in it’s cultural, social, historical and natural heritage significance. For more details and pictures of the evening, check out the full article here.

DRCC Photo Contest 

The DRCC hosted a photo contest to encourage people to explore the Detroit River during the fall of 2016. The four winners include Christopher Waters, Luke Grewe, Jim Kemp and the LeHoux Family. All photo contest winners spend time along the Detroit River either by foot or boat and captured some unique views of the Detroit River.

Celebration of World Rivers Day, 2016

The DRCC celebrated World Rivers Day on September 24th 2016 with the Windsor Port Authority and Windsor Adventure Inc. This special event marked the re-designation of two beneficial use impairments, Beach Closures and Degradation of Aesthetics. The celebration included a litter clean up in McKee Park as well as kayak demonstrations from Windsor Adventure Inc.


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!

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.

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!

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.