City presses feds to protect Ojibway Shores
Published Monday, January 29, 2018 10:20PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 30, 2018 5:52PM EST
City hall is putting some pressure on the feds to protect environmentally sensitive lands on the Detroit River.
Windsor city council formally requested the government of Canada to conserve the Ojibway Shores property as an environmentally-protected area.
The 33-acre tract of land connects many of Windsor's ecologically diverse Carolinian forests and species with the Detroit River.
Ojibway Shores is owned by the federal government but the Windsor Port Authority manages the property and has the ability to dispose of the land as it sees fit -- which means it could also be developed.
"The port does a fantastic job of protecting it, restoring it, doing what they can,” said Tom Henderson, the chair of the public advisory council for the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup. “However if you go to their website, they still have it open for development and I'm not aware of any commitment they've made to save the property forever.
“That's why it's so important that we get it.”
Members of the public and local politicians have made a number of attempts to stop the potential of developments on the shorline.
The city budgeted $1.5 million dollars to purchase the land a few years back -- an amount that seems to fall short of what the authority wants for the property. The WPA valued the shores land at more than $10-million in a recent submission to have it included in the community benefits portion of the Gordie Howe International Bridge construction.
Council unanimously passed the resolution Monday night and will continue discussions with the port authority.
"We'll meet again in a few weeks’ time and I hope we move the needle forward with the ultimate goal of trying to preserve Ojibway Shores in a natural state in perpetuity," mayor Drew Dilkens said after the meeting.