VIDEO: Boaters Banned 30-Metres from Detroit River Shoreline

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The Windsor Port Authority and City of Windsor are banning boaters from being within 30 metres from the Detroit River shoreline.

To try and lessen the damage caused by waves, the port authority has implemented the temporary 30 day ban, in hopes that the water levels will drop.

The ban means no motorized watercraft can be close to the shoreline unless they are docking.

The historic high water levels have prompted the ban as residents are struggling to keep water away from their lawns and over flooding their pools along Windsor's Riverside Dr. 

"We have not seen the height, the maximum height of these water levels. We expect water to go higher than it is today," says Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.  "Basically we expect the situation to get worse before it gets better, and this could go into August and some are saying into September."

The ban will be re-enforced by the Windsor Police Marine Unit which will focus on educating boaters.

"Our Marine operators were out this morning and they stopped some fishermen and we have a tournament coming up and they were interacting with the director who happened to be on that boat and they were very positive," says Windsor Police Staff Sergeant Sue Garrett. "We have sent the message out to them, they will be spreading it around, so that is part of what we are doing right now is a huge education awareness component of it."

The penalities could go as high as $5,000 for an individual boater and $50,000 for a corporation or ship.

Commercial ships going through the Detroit River have already dropped their speeds by 30 percent to try and reduce their wake.

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Windsor Port Authority and City of Windsor have implemented a 30-metre ban for boaters along the Detroit River. July 12, 2019 (Photo by AM800's Teresinha Medeiros)

Port Authority CEO Steve Salmons says the ban should help shoreline property from flooding.

"We believe this will significantly mitigate the impact on the community, on shoreline owners. It is not going to be perfect, we are not dealing with a shipping issue here, we are dealing with a high water issue and there is nothing we can stop the high water, we have to wait it out," he says."

Harbour Master Peter Berry says the bottom line is to stay away from the shoreline along the Detroit River.

"We are not preventing people from coming and going from their docks," says Berry.  "What we are saying if you are in transit and travelling through those areas, remain off those shore walls for a minimum of 30-metres. Respect your wake, know what your wake is doing."

The ban is in place for 30 days, at which point, the water levels will be re-assessed.   

A free sandbag program remains in place for a section of homes along the north side of Riverside Dr.