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
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.