Situated in the heart of the Great Lakes Basin, the Detroit River connects Lake St. Clair and the City of Windsor with Lake Erie and the Town of Amherstburg. This 51 kilometre waterway is the busiest international border crossing point between Canada and the United States and is a key transportation route in the Great Lakes system. The river is truly a shared resource bringing the people of two nations together. The Detroit River is also the only Canadian river and watershed that lies completely within the Carolinian vegetation zone, featuring diverse ecosystems and rare species found nowhere else in this country. In addition, over 6,000 years of First Nation use and 300 years of European settlement have endowed the Detroit River with many exceptional cultural heritage values.

Since 1989, the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Committee has been working to improve the health of the Detroit River by implementing its Remedial Action Plan.

In 2001, the Detroit River was designated as part of the Canadian Heritage Rivers System, becoming the first river on the continent to receive both Canadian and American heritage river status.