Lafarge Canada Inc, Windsor Port Authority, Environment Canada, Essex Regional Conservation Authority, Amico Infrastructures Inc and Chall.Eng Corporation coordinated their efforts to improve fish habitat in the Detroit River in Windsor while securing the working shoreline for years to come. The Lafarge Windsor aggregate dock is located in Windsor, Ontario and is part of the Lafarge Great Lakes market area. A dock collapse early in 2012 provided an opportunity to rebuild the face of the dock with both environmental and structural improvements as design goals.
The purpose of this public-private partnership project with assistance from a public grant was to construct an engineered soft shoreline and fish habitats along 357 metres of restored Detroit River shoreline. Lafarge Inc, as the property lessee and the Windsor Port Authority, as the property owner, built a strong partnership to complete this important project. The work included the placement of rock clusters as well as other fish habitat features while assuring the commercial use of the dock. The shoreline project built upon earlier riparian enhancements on the adjacent properties by Amico Infrastructures, Sterling Marine Fuels Ltd and Morterm Ltd.
The structural improvements to the dock included the placement of armour stone of various sizes on the dock face, placement of new bollards, and site drainage design. The environmental component of the design included wave attenuating curves of the improved dock face, in-water structures and application of varying slopes on the working face during installation, and were aimed at promoting biodiversity on the river which contains whitefish, sturgeon, salmon, perch, and walleye. Crayfish and mussels will also benefit from the rock outcroppings. The Detroit River was designated as an American Heritage River in 1998 and a Canadian Heritage River in 2001.
Working in partnership, Windsor Port Authority, Essex Regional Conservation Authority, Environment Canada and Lafarge Canada were able to make the rebuilding of the dock and restoration of the shoreline a success story for the future of the Detroit River. The site is an excellent example of improvements for commercial use and environmental stewardship coming together.