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ERCA Honours Conservation Award Winners

Essex Region –  Six organizations and individuals were honoured with Essex Region Conservation Awards for their contributions to creating a sustainable future of the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region at ERCA’s 50th Annual General Meeting, hosted January 18.

“It’s very inspiring to have the opportunity to celebrate so many organizations and individuals who have made an incredible impact on the environment,” said Jim Morrison, who was acclaimed as ERCA’s Chair.  “We thank them for all of their contributions.”

Winners included:

Clayton Armstrong and Susan Iatonna – Conservation Farm Award for their commitment to sustainable farming through Best Management Practices that protect soil health, the installation of solar panels toward becoming a net zero operation, and planting hundreds of trees.


Darlene Marshall – John R. Park Homestead Award for leading programming and supporting educators (K-12) with infusing Indigenous histories, cultures and perspectives across the curriculum with authentic resources and learning opportunities, as the Indigenous Program Lead with the Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board.


Ben Margerison – Youth Award for his commitment to protecting our local ecosystems as part of the Leamington District Secondary School EcoTeam, taking a lead role in maintaining the school's pollinator gardens, for recruiting volunteers for ERCA's tree planting events and for developing and delivering environmental awareness campaigns to better inform his fellow students about environmental issues like climate change and biodiversity loss.

Dr. John Hartig – Environmental Achievement Award for a career dedicated to improving the health of the Great Lakes and the Detroit River Corridor, including roles as the Detroit River Navigator, Refuge Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, and his current role as Visiting Scholar at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research at the University of Windsor.

Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority – Environmental Achievement for numerous environmental sustainability priorities in its construction and through its Community Benefits Plan. Some of these include the integration of energy-efficient LED and low-maintenance lighting, installation of a peregrine falcon box on the bridge to facilitate nesting, the relocation of over 2,600 SAR plants and 2,000 seeds from native prairie species from the site prior to construction, employing green infrastructure and stormwater management design principles, and brownfield reclamation. Through its Community Benefits plan, dozens of environmental improvement projects have been implemented.

Nancy Roy – Dennis Chase Staff Award for her kindness, humour, and dedication.

ERCA’s Annual Report and corresponding Annual report video can be found at: .

The Essex Region Conservation Authority is a public sector organization established by the Province of Ontario in 1973 and governed by local municipalities. For 50 years, it has delivered programs and services that further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources in watersheds in the Windsor-Essex-Pelee Island region.

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