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E-M:/ State of the Strait Conference at Univsersity of Windsor

More than 200 scientists, government managers, students, members of

environmental organizations, and concerned citizens are expected to meet on Tuesday, April

28, 2009 at the University of Windsor’s C.A.W. Centre for the 4th biennial, binational State of

the Strait Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Ecological Benefits of Habitat



Twelve speakers from the U.S. and Canada will highlight numerous efforts to rehabilitate and

restore habitat in the Detroit River and western Lake Erie. These projects include building fish

spawning reefs, softening shoreline, restoring wetlands, and rehabilitating wildlife habitats.

Presentations will focus on the ecological responses of habitat modification across a diverse

range of habitat types and will provide knowledge and lessons for future habitat rehabilitation,

restoration, and enhancement projects throughout the region.


“We need clear scientific information on what is known and unknown about the ecological

benefits of habitat modification,” explains Dr. John Hartig, International Wildlife Refuge

Manager and conference co‐chair. “This information is necessary in order to support an

ecosystem approach to management and to provide compelling rationale for further

restoration of the Detroit River and western Lake Erie.”


Almost 97% of the coastal wetland habitat has been destroyed due to centuries of industrial,

urban, and agricultural development in the region. “The loss of fish and wildlife habitat is still a

key environmental issue for the Detroit River Area of Concern,” says Natalie Green, Remedial

Action Plan Coordinator for the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup. “These habitat projects are

instrumental in restoring impaired beneficial uses under the U.S.‐Canada Great Lakes Water

Quality Agreement.”


Previous State of the Strait Conferences have explored the status of key environmental

indicators for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie, monitoring for sound management, and

strengthening science‐management linkages.

Registration is free but anyone interested in attending the State of the Strait Conference is

asked to register by April 14, 2009. To register for the conference, visit

www.stateofthestrait.org or contact Ellen Green at 519‐253‐3000 x4760.