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Lower Rouge River Habitat Restoration

The Lower Rouge River Habitat Restoration improves fish and wildlife habitat along a six mile stretch of the Lower Rouge River. This project creates habitat for benthic organism colonization and fish habitat in the project area by removing 20 problematic instream debris jams. Problematic debris jams block fish movement, erode streambanks, and degrade habitat quality. Non-problematic log jams and large woody debris pieces will remain in place to conserve fish and wildlife habitat. The remaining wood will not only provide important fish habitat but will also provide loafing habitat for turtles and waterfowl. In addition, replanting native trees in open canopy areas of the forested corridor significantly improves wildlife habitat within 80 acres of riparian forest along the Lower Rouge River.

Funding and Parnters

This project was funded by the U. S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office through an approximately $4M Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant received by the Alliance of Rouge Communities for five projects (Lola Valley, Bell Creek, Riverview Park, Sherwood Park and Lower Rouge) Grant #GL-00E02896. The design was completed under an approximately $770,000 GLRI grant to Wayne County in 2019 (Grant # GL-00E02432) Partners in this project include the U.S. EPA, GLRI, ARC, and Wayne County Parks

Where and When

The project runs through the cities of Wayne and Inkster in the Lower Branch of the Rouge River. Project design began in 2019 with construction starting in the summer of 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2023. Maintenance of the vegetation that will be planted as part of the restoration will be done in 2023-2024.

Anticipated Outcomes

Eliminate 20 debris jams causing fish blockages and habitat degradation Improve 80 acres of riparian forest habitat

Photo History of Project:

Conditions Before Restoration

Photo Gallery of Restoration Activities

Documenting log jams


Contractor removing log jam

Log jam trees used as habitat

River open after log jam removal

Planting of tree saplings

Tree saplings in open canopy area

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Phone | 734-768-2180

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