SW Detroit River Health: Update on Cleaning up the Rouge River

Site Hosts 2018 Rouge Rescue SW Detroit

On May 19, SDEV co-hosted a Rouge Rescue clean-up event with the Ford Rouge Gateway (FRoG) park initiative and Marathon. Rouge Rescue is a program run by Friends of the Rouge each year through host sites to clean-up and improve the health of the Rouge River. SDEV and other volunteers cleaned up more than a dozen contractor-size garbage bags of litter from the banks of the river. As our group cleared out, we welcomed a family of geese returning to their nesting site near the riverbank.

Goose and goslings

Goose family at Ford Rouge Gateway.

There is more activity to come this year and next to improve river health on the Old Channel of the Rouge River. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Great Lakes National
Program Office is working with Honeywell, Inc. (Honeywell) to clean up a 0.75-mile stretch of the Lower Rouge River.

This project will include construction of a permanent bulkhead wall along part of the Old Channel and removal of 70,000 cubic yards of sediment from the bottom of the river that is polluted with coal tar and other petroleum products.

The project will also involve removal of large debris like metal, wood, tires, and cars that have been discarded in the river. The project is expected to begin this spring and be completed in 2019.

A public meeting was held in March about the project and fact sheets are now available in English, Spanish, and Arabic. Download the fact sheet in your preferred language below.

Lower Rouge River Old Channel fact sheet FINAL_Arabic

Lower Rouge River Old Channel fact sheet FINAL (English)

Lower Rouge River Old Channel fact sheet FINAL-SPANISH