Windsor Port Authority extends Detroit River 30-metre wake ban again

Harbourmaster Peter Berry said the decision to extend the ban is a result of "potential future of flooding with high waters coming from Lake Superior, Michigan and Huron."

The ban will likely extend until the end of October

High water levels along Reaume Park, on the Detroit River. (Bob Becken/CBC)

The Windsor Port Authority is once again extending a 30-metre wake ban along the Detroit River — this time until the end of October.

Harbourmaster Peter Berry said the decision is a result of "potential future flooding with high waters coming from Lake Superior, Michigan and Huron."

"We feel that we need to continue with the ban probably through to the end of the boating season, just to try to provide some protection to those shoreline owners," he said. 

Berry explained that marinas in the region typically close at the end of October.

When Berry spoke with CBC News in August, he said Windsor police had issued warnings to approximately 40 boaters who had violated the terms of the wake ban.

At the time, police hadn't issued a monetary fine to any boaters found in violation a second time. 

Since then, Berry said police haven't had the need to issue a single new warning, let alone a monetary fine. 

A boat travels down the Detroit River before the temporary ban near Windsor's shoreline was put in place. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

"I think it's a good thing," he said. "If we were seeing the need to issue the tickets and go to court, we would see that people are not understanding the conditions along the shoreline and the plight that many of these property owners are facing."

Berry said it appears boaters are respecting the rules of the river. 

"I think it's indicative of private boaters actually being not only compliant to the order itself, but being very understanding that flooding is a very real issue and is affecting people personally," he said.

According to Berry, Windsor police boats patrol the Detroit River every single day during the summer, with up to boats on the water at a time. 

Police adhere to a two-strike system when it comes to enforcing the wake ban.

"That gives the person the benefit of the doubt," Berry said.

The first strike results in a warning, while the second strike can result in fines to passenger boats of up to $5,000. Commercial boats found in violation twice can receive fines of up to $50,000.

The City of Windsor implemented the shoreline ban in July, as a means of reducing flooding and erosion along the Detroit River shoreline. 

Officials originally considered seeking a speed limit reduction, but decided against such a measure because it would have been more trouble to enforce than it's worth. 


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