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Membership has its Benefits!

The Alliance of Rouge Communities, or ARC, is a 501(c)(3) organization comprised of local municipalities, counties, educational institutions and stewardship groups working together to improve the Rouge River. Founded in 2005, the ARC is funded by membership dues from local governments and supported by grants. The ARC and its partners work cooperatively to meet water quality requirements mandated by the state’s stormwater permit and to restore beneficial uses, such as canoeing, fishing and other recreational activities, to the Rouge River. That means better water quality for less cost to its members!



Townships, cities, villages and counties (or county agencies) that hold a state permit for water discharge into the Rouge River.


Public school districts, public colleges or universities, or any other local or regional public agency that has been issued a state permit for a water discharge into the Rouge River.


The ARC encourages the involvement of non-profit organizations, other public agencies or entities, businesses, and residents who share a common interest in protection and restoration of the Rouge River. Those who provide their time, services, expertise or other resources toward the common goal of protection and restoration of the river will be recognized as non-voting, Cooperating Partners.

The governing bodies of Primary and Associate Members must voluntarily by resolution adopt the ARC Bylaws. Primary Members pay annual dues using a formula determined by its population in the watershed. Associate Members are assessed dues on a case-by-case basis.


Send a letter to: Alliance of Rouge Communities, 46036 Michigan Ave., Suite 126, Canton, MI 48188, Attn: Organization Committee or email the ARC with Organization Committee in the subject field.


Access to Grant Funding

The ARC has received more than $23 million in federal and state grants for water quality monitoring, tree planting, stream restoration and to create habitat and restore recreational uses along the four branches of the Rouge River. These grants have come through the State of Michigan and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative from the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, U. S. Forest Service, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and have benefited ARC member communities throughout the Rouge River Watershed!

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Permit Compliance Activities

The ARC conducts water quality monitoring which helps gauge the health of the river and illicit discharge elimination activities that look for and correct illegal discharges to the Rouge River. ARC members can participate in Collaborative IDEP and PEP activities to meet their MS4 permit requirements. The ARC provides free public education materials to members to distribute in their facilities.

Planning Tools

ARC members have access to a land cover mapping tool that helps local communities assess the amount of available green space and targets where new green infrastructure, such as trees and native plants, should be installed.

Green Infrastructure

The ARC's Green Infrastructure Program is a campaign that installs “grow zones” of native vegetation in ARC member communities at parks, university campuses, schools, golf courses and along roads. Thousands of tree seedlings and native plant seeds have been distributed to residents and schools. More than 3,700 rain barrels have been sold to over 2,300 watershed residents, which promotes the re-use of stormwater.

Public Education Activities

The ARC provides workshops and webinars on grow zones, septic system maintenance and stewardship activities. In partnership with Friends of the Rouge the ARC supports workshops on naturalizing home gardens using rain gardens. Working with Great Lakes Water Authority the ARC is involved with a variety of other public education messages through social media, bus wraps and billboards throughout the Rouge River Watershed.

Questions? Contact ARC Staff

Membership Questions: Email Chris O'Meara

Technical Questions: Email Annette DeMaria

Public Education Questions: Email Chris O'Meara

Copyright © 2020 Alliance of Rouge Communities | All rights reserved

Phone | 734-768-2180 | 46036 Michigan Ave., Suite 126 | Canton, Michigan 48188