Buffer Zone Extended for Boaters in the Detroit River

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WINDSOR — The Windsor Port Authority and City of Windsor are extending the buffer zone for boats along the Detroit River.

Up until now, boats had to be at least 30 metres away from the shoreline, unless they were coming in for docking or to fuel but the authority will be extending it to 60 metres.

The idea is to limit the boat's waves and shoreline erosion as much as possible.

The 30-metre ban was first put into place in July 2019 to reduce damage to properties and infrastructure.

Windsor Harbour Master Peter Berry says the extension will be enforced.

"Windsor police will be enforcing the ban by going out and patrolling through the shoreline and looking to see the position of the boat," says Berry.   "Anything that is drifting close to the shoreline had to get there."

He says the key right now is to get the message out to boaters, especially those on the other side of the river.

"This year it is complicated with the pandemic. We do have the border closure, so the movement of vessels is restricted with U.S boats not permitted in the Canadian water and again trying to get the message to our partners in the U.S that this is something that is very important to us."

 Berry points out the other issue causing shoreline erosion is the velocity of the river itself saying, "It is moving at such a pace that it is causing a greater level of erosion than we have see before as well."

The 60 metre buffer zone which applies to the Detroit River only, will be reviewed every 30-days.

Windsor-Essex is dealing with record high water levels in the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie and it is expected to get worse by late July or early August, before it gets better.