Follow the link to view the performance report online: 2016 Performance Report
June 22, 2017
George Sandala, Chair of the Windsor Port Authority, is pleased to announce the
appointment of Walter M. Benzinger to the Board of Directors. Mr. Benzinger was
appointed by the Federal Government for a term of 3 years commencing June 27, 2017.
Mr. Benzinger is a Chartered Public Accountant and a partner in the Windsor office of
Deloitte LLP. Mr. Benzinger is the Windsor Tax Leader for the firm and is responsible
for all their Windsor tax operations. He provides business advisory skills to a variety of
privately held companies. He specializes in the areas of estate planning and minimizing
taxation for owner/managed companies.
Mr. Benzinger has been an active volunteer in the community, serving on numerous
boards and committees, including the Boards of Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital, Essex Golf
and Country Club and previously on the Windsor Port Authority.
Mr. Sandala stated “Walter’s financial expertise and community involvement will be of
great benefit to the Port Authority and on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, I am
pleased to welcome him to our Board”.
For further information, please contact
Mr. David Cree, President & CEO
Published on: June 21, 2017 | Last Updated: June 21, 2017 9:44 PM EDT
The historic icebreaker Alexander Henry will be passing by Windsor and Amherstburg on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Ian MacAlpine / SunMedia
A historic retired Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker will be passing through Amherstburg and Windsor on Thursday en route to Thunder Bay, the place it was built and where it will become a tourist attraction.
The Alexander Henry was built by the Port Arthur Shipbuilding Company in what is now part of Thunder Bay and launched in July 1959.
“It has come through the Welland Canal, all eight locks,” said Windsor native Shelley Simon of the Lakehead Transportation Museum Society.
“It’s really historic, it will be in Amherstburg at 3 p.m. (Thursday) and is supposed to be at the Windsor waterfront between 6 and 7 p.m. (Thursday).
The Alexander Henry was originally classified a Canadian Marine Ship (CMS) but with the creation of the Canadian Coast Guard in 1962 it became a Canadian Coast Guard Ship (CCGS) and remained in service, based on Lake Superior, until 1984.
While operational, the Alexander Henry was used in the 1970s to test experimental methods of icebreaking — using hover platforms at the front of the ship. But that proved to be too noisy and costly.
In 1986, the ship became a floating museum at the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes in Kingston, also serving as a bed and breakfast in the summer months.
The ship was put in dry dock in 2010 to undergo inspection and last year the museum moved to a new location that could not accommodate the ship.
The ship’s future has been uncertain of late, with some in Kingston wanting to sink it in Lake Ontario to become a diving reef.
The Thunder Bay group bought the ship for $2 and it is now heading home thanks to $125,000 from Thunder Bay city council to help cover towing costs.
The Alexander Henry is named after a pioneer of the Canadian fur trade.
On Thursday, the ship may be accompanied up the Detroit River by the CCGS Samuel Risley, the ship that took over its icebreaking and buoy-placing duties on the Great Lakes.
“I’m hoping to rally up a bunch of people to be on that waterfront,” said Simon.
The ship is expected to arrive in Thunder Bay on Wednesday and be open to the public by August.
Windsor Port Authority traffic ebbs after banner year.
Please click on the link, for the full posting, including pictures: 2017 Traffic Ebbs
Officials expect to bounce back with another great year in 2017 as work on Gordie Howe bridge begins.
CBC News Posted: Jun 07, 2017 7:11 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 07, 2017 7:11 PM ET
Steve Lutsch snapped this photo “to put into perspective” just how big freighters that traverse the
Great Lakes and Detroit River really are. (Steve Lutsch/Facebook)
After a near-record year of ship traffic, the Windsor Port Authority saw cargo volumes take a bit
of a dive in 2016.
The number of ships docking in the port last year dropped 14.85 per cent, while tonnes of cargo
dropped 15.49 per cent, according to figures presented at the port authority’s annual meeting
But the ebbing numbers simply reflect the banner year of traffic in 2015, largely because of early
construction work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge, say officials.
Windsor Port Authority president and CEO David Cree expects to see ship traffic and cargo
volumes to soar as work on the Gordie Howe International Bridge starts. (Stacey Janzer/CBC)
The 2016 traffic is more on par with the 10-year average, explained David Cree, president and
CEO of the port authority.
“We’re never happy to see a decrease, but that’s sort of the nature of the business,” he said. “We
think we’re going to bounce back very quickly.”
Officials expect to see an increase in traffic in 2017 with numbers from the first month reflecting
that projection, according to port authority board chairman George Sandala.
He anticipates salt aggregate will return to normal levels after a slight decrease last year. A $60-
million expansion at Windsor Salt will be a driving factor behind that, Sandala explained.
Another boon to aggregate starting again this year and ramping up in 2018 will be from the
construction of the Gordie Howe bridge.
A spike in cruise-ship traffic was a bright spot in last year’s numbers. Ports around the Great
Lakes have been promoting tourism internationally, which is starting to roll in, according to
“It’s been a nice little added bonus that we were hoping for, but didn’t really expect,” he said.
North America’s St. Lawrence water system – which includes the Great Lakes – is one of the largest in the world, and is responsible for draining more than a quarter of the Earth’s freshwater reserves. The artery of this system, the St. Lawrence River, reaches deep into the interior of this massive continent, connecting the Great Lakes system to the Atlantic Ocean.
To celebrate Water Wednesday with WWF and Love Nature, let’s look at five facts about this diverse waterway.
The St. Lawrence is enormous. The river proper, at 1,197 km in length, runs northeast from Lake Ontario towards the Atlantic, where it forms the Gulf of St. Lawrence. All in all, the whole St. Lawrence system is 3,058 km. This behemoth of a river is still fairly young, having only formed around 10,000 years or so ago when the glaciers began retreating, exposing a giant gash in the Earth’s crust.
Because it flows through such a vast portion of the continent, the river has many different habitats, ranging from Great Lakes freshwater systems all the way to the saltwater ocean environments of the estuary. There are around 83 different documented land and aquatic mammals that call the river and its associated gulf home, including the much adored and endangered beluga whale. Before they were hunted to extinction regionally in the northwest Atlantic, walruses used to swim here too. Part of the Atlantic Flyway, the river is a hotspot for at least 400 species of birds, such as bald eagles, ospreys, and black terns.
When it comes to the depletion of fish stocks, years of pollution and commercial fishing has had massive impacts. The fishing communities that first drew Europeans into the eastern ocean-facing mouth of the river aren’t what they used to be. Herring, sturgeon, and salmon have all been fished to a fraction of their historic populations.
Sports fishing enthusiasts still flock to stretches of the river famous for their small and largemouth bass, northern pike, carp, and muskellunge (a.k.a. muskies). To reverse the decades of commercial over-fishing, research and funds are going into restoration and turning around the plight of some of the river’s most iconic species. WWF’s Loblaw Water Fund, for example, supports on-the-ground restoration work across Canada and in the St. Lawrence River watershed.
The beaver, mink, muskrat, and fox populations historically decimated by the fur industry have gotten a lot of help over the years from government and private groups. Most populations are on the rebound, but beavers and muskrats are still under pressure in some regions by development and human encroachment.
There’s an enormous wealth of plant life in the many various ecosystems along the river, some 1,700 species we know of right now. That includes species of the beautiful and rare lady’s-slipper orchid, and some curiously named specimens like Fernald’s milkvetch, Connecticut beggarticks, handsome sedge, and Philadelphia fleabane.
One of the most significant opportunities to restore the health of this ecosystem involves managing the flow of the river and lake levels in a way that reflects a more natural state. A new plan, Plan 2014, is coming together and if implemented would has unprecedented restoration potential.
Settlers began constructing canals to control boat access along parts of the river and the Great Lakes as early as 1783. By 1932 Canada had already linked Lake Ontario and Erie, but the US was still wary of a mutual project. By 1954 they were finally convinced, and in 1959 the mutually constructed St. Lawrence Seaway and Power project opened, connecting Montreal to Lake Erie.
Economically speaking, the project was a huge success for both countries, and the feat is still deemed an inland-water engineering marvel. But progress often brings problems. Invasive species that hitched a ride on incoming vessels now line the length of the river, and have been causing serious concern for decades now. At least 85 invasive aquatic species have been cited in the river itself, and more than 180 non-native and invasive species exist in the Great Lakes. Zebra mussels are probably the most well-known example. They were first spotted in the Great Lakes in the late 1980’s, and they’re now spread throughout the entire system, choking out competitors such as native freshwater mussel species.
Like just about every other waterway in the world, the St. Lawrence system is under threat from the usual myriad of stressors such as, development, over-harvesting and pollution.
Recently, the City of Montreal dumped billions of litres of untreated wastewater directly into the river to clear out sewer buildup. WWF-Canada remains opposed to this action and, should a similar issue arise in future, urges the City of Montreal to seek other solutions
Another concern is the possibility of oil spills from boats and underwater transport lines. And just last year, McGill University researchers uncovered microplastic pollution levels in the St. Lawrence on par with the most contaminated ocean sediment samples.
WWF is working to safeguard the St. Lawrence River and has completed assessments on the health of, and threats to, the major watersheds flowing into the mighty river. Read the report here: watershedreports.wwf.ca
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