Ontario Construction News staff writer
Three years of work on erosion protection projects for Peche Island are now complete.
“Peche Island is a treasure for our city and region. This work is going to help ensure the island remains a recreation destination and protected environmental habitat for generations to come,” said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens.
Windsor oversaw the work, in collaboration with the Essex Region Conservation Authority (ERCA), constructing nine sheltering islands and a 600-metre revetment wall in the water along the north and northeast sides of the island. Work was needed to prevent erosion damage and enhance the fish habitat.
Due to strong river currents and heavy wave action from freighters, Peche Island has decreased in area by nearly 17 acres since 1931. Erosion control measures were taken where over 5,605 tonnes of stone and rock were laid along the northeast shoreline to create a 600-metre-long revetment wall, and over 11,785 tonnes of stone and rock were expertly placed on the north side of Peche Island to construct nine offshore sheltering islands, each 50 metres long.
The primary purpose is for erosion control, where the sheltering islands also provide enhancement of fish habitat, particularly for the species-at-risk Northern Madtom.
The project cost approximately $4.5 million and was paid for by a partnership of City, ERCA, and various funding sources.
“This project is a tremendous example of how all three levels of government can work together to solve shoreline erosion issues and build aquatic habitat at the same time,” said ERCA Director of Conservation Services Kevin Money. “The project will mitigate the loss of further land on Pêche Island, which will also help with local water quality by reducing soil erosion.
“We are already seeing the positive effects of the habitat features built with the submerged aquatic vegetation beginning to grow and mature.”