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map of Detroit RiverThe State of the Strait conference, on the UWindsor campus today, will discuss ecological endpoints and restoration targets for the Detroit River.

Conference to explore environmental condition of Detroit River corridor

About 200 researchers, students, government managers, environmental and conservation organizations and concerned citizens from the United States and Canada will gather on the UWindsor campus today to discuss progress on setting ecological endpoints and restoration targets for the Detroit River and western Lake Erie.

The biennial State of the Strait Conference will focus on measurements that have sufficient data and have a sound scientific rationale to identify quantitative restoration targets and desired endpoints.

UWindsor biology professor Jan Ciborowski, the conference’s Canadian co-chair, calls it “critically important” to efforts to restore and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of this shared ecosystem.

“There are few places in the world where two countries work so closely together on transboundary restoration and conservation efforts,” he notes.

Speakers will describe how targets and endpoints are being used to guide management programs, including the Detroit River Remedial Action Plan, the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, the Lake Erie Lakewide Management Plan, and plans for watershed management.

Trends in these “state of ecosystem” indicators will be shown, to chart the progress and adequacy of establishing targets that will restore the Detroit River-western Lake Erie corridor, home to nearly 7 million people. The one-day conference will conclude with a panel discussion of next steps, from both a science and management perspective.

The State of the Strait is a unique Canada-U.S. collaboration to foster cooperative learning and provide advice on improving research, monitoring, and comprehensive ecosystem-based management. For more information, visit www.stateofthestrait.org.

Lake Erie Millennium Network meeting to follow

The learning will continue October 29 to 31 with a three-day meeting of the Lake Erie Millennium Network, which will consider binational research strategies to ensure co-ordinated collection and dissemination of data to address continuing research and management needs.

Presentations will review current understanding of the factors influencing Lake Erie’s ecosystem. Platform sessions will highlight recent biological, environmental and policy trends relating to trophic status, nutrient loading, reporting and management strategies, ecological forecasting, integrated habitat assessment, restoration strategies, and new pressures on the ecosystem.

Online registration is closed, but attendees may register at the door. For details, including a summary of the program, visit the conference website.