Rouge River - Ours to Protect!


The Rouge River Watershed is home to more than one million people and encompasses 466 square miles, running through the most
densely populated and urbanized land area in southeast Michigan. The Rouge River is a tributary to the Detroit River and its four branches total approximately 126 miles of waterways and include over 400 lakes, impoundments and ponds. More than 50 miles of the river flows through
public parklands, making the Rouge River one of the most publicly accessible rivers in the country.

The purpose of the Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC) is to encourage watershed-wide cooperation and support
to restore beneficial uses of the Rouge River to the area residents while meeting water quality permit requirements!

Watch the ARC's One Water Video to learn more!

ARC Member Information

Working Together, Restoring the River

Danvers Pond

About Our Watershed

Find out what a watershed is, if you live in one and what you can do to protect it.    


Get Involved

Attend workshops, volunteer activities & learn whats happening in the Rouge River!


In The News

Articles and videos highlight ARC member and partner activities and projects.


Businesses in The
Rouge River

Cost-saving information for business-owners to assure you are not polluting the Rouge River.


Rouge River Advisory Council (RRAC)

Learn how the RRAC activities are helping the Rouge River Watershed! Check out the interactive
Rouge River Project Dashboard


Become a Steward of The Rouge River

Your actions at home, in your yard, in your community and at work affect the Rouge River!

Restoration Projects in the Rouge River Watershed

The ARC and the Rouge River Advisory Council (RRAC), along with U. S. Environmental Projtection Agency (USEPA), Michigan Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Michigan Deparment of Natural Resources (MDNR), and our local members developed a formal list of specific projects that needed to be completed in the watershed in order to remove the Fish and Wildlife Habitat Beneficial Use Impairment (BUIs) to begin moving towards delisting the Rouge River as an Area of Concern (AOC). This work resulted in the development of a Rouge AOC habitat list that was approved by EGLE and EPA in 2018. The ARC, with RRAC support, has been actively applying for funding to implement many of the projects, with several of them complete and highlighted below.

Seeley Creek Habitat Restoration

View project info (Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02700-1)

Nankin Lake Habitat Restoration

View project info (Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02040-1)

Rouge AOC Habitat Restoration Design & Implementation Tamarack Creek/Johnson Creek Fish Hatchery

View project info for Tamarack Creek Restoration (Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02344-2 & GL-00E02478) View project info for Johnson Creek Fish Hatchery (Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02344-2 & GL-00E02478)

Rouge River AOC PAC Support

View project info (Funded by a USEPA GLRI/Michigan EGLE GL-00E02481, Project #2020-2505)

Henry Ford Estate Fishway

View project info (Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02040-1)

Rouge River AOC Habitat Colonial & Venoy Restoration

(Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02830-0) View Colonial Park project info View Venoy Dorsey Park project info

Rouge River AOC Habitat Restoration Design Implementation Wayne County Parkland
(Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02432-0 & GL-00E02896-0)

View Lola Valley Park project info View Bell Creek project info View Riverview Park project info View Sherwood Park project info View Lower Rouge project info

Rouge River AOC Habitat Restoration at LTU Wetland

View LTU project info (Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02976-0 & GL-00E03268-0)

Rouge River AOC Habitat Restoration Design Wilcox/Phoenix/Inkster and Implementation Wilcox/Phoenix

(Funded by a USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02997-0 & GL-00E03267-0) Wilcox Lake project info Phoenix Lake project info Inkster Park project info (Funded by USEPA GLRI Grant GL-00E02997-0)

Restoring Trees & Green Infrastructure in the Rouge River 

View project info (Funded by a GLRI-USDA Forest Service Grant 21-DG-11094200-07)

More Helpful Information

Community Stormwater Management Plans

Review and comment on your community's stormwater management plan. Find links to each community participating in the ARC Collaborative Plans. 

Learn More »

Maintaining your Septic System

Imporant information and videos for homeowners that have a septic system on their property.  Find out how to maintain your system and how to tell if it is failing.

Learn More »

Application & Disposal of Chemicals

Learn about preferred cleaning materials and procedures for car, pavement and power washing. Find out how to apply and dispose of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.

Learn More »

Rouge-Friendly Lawn Maintenance

Get tips to keep your yard healthy, create habitat for pollinators and even save some money!

Learn More »

Green Infrastructure & What it Means to You 

What is green infrastructure? Incorporate it into your yard and learn how your yard or community can benefit from it.

Learn More »

Household Hazardous Waste & Illegal Dumping

Report illegal dumping and learn how you can dispose of household hazardous waste properly.  

Learn More about HHW »

Learn More about illegal dumping »

The Alliance of Rouge Communities (ARC), a 501(c)(3) organization, is a voluntary public watershed entity currently comprised of municipal governments (i.e. cities, townships and villages), counties, the Wayne County Airport Authority, educational institutions and cooperating partners (i.e. other organizations) as authorized by Part 312 (Watershed Alliances) of the Michigan Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (MCL 324.101 to 324.90106) as amended by Act No. 517, Public Acts of 2004. 

Primary Members: Auburn Hills, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Twp., Canton Twp., Commerce Twp., Dearborn Heights, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Village of Franklin, Garden City, Inkster, Lathrup Village, Livonia, Melvindale, Northville, Northville Twp., Novi, Oakland County, Oak Park, Orchard Lake, Plymouth, Plymouth Twp., Redford Twp., Rochester Hills, Romulus, Southfield, Troy, Van Buren Twp., Walled Lake, Washtenaw County, Wayne, Wayne County, Wayne County Airport Authority, Westland, West Bloomfield Twp., Wixom

Associate Members: Henry Ford College, Schoolcraft College, University of Michigan-Dearborn

Cooperating Partners: Cranbrook Institute of Science, Friends of the Rouge, Great Lakes Water Authority, Rouge River Advisory Council, SEMCOG, Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority, The Henry Ford

Copyright © 2020 Alliance of Rouge Communities | All rights reserved

Phone | 734-768-2180 | Contact us via email

46036 Michigan Ave., Suite 126 | Canton, Michigan 48188

This institution is an equal opportunity provider and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in its programs or activities