Rouge River Advisory Council

Chair: Dan Ballnik
Vice-Chair: Bill Craig
Statewide Pubic Advisory Council (SPAC) Representative: Bill Craig
Area of Concern Coordinator: Jennifer Tewkesbury

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What is a RAP?

A Remedial Action Plan (RAP) is a process that embraces a comprehensive ecosystem approach to restoring and protecting a lake or river that has been designated an "Area of Concern" (AOC) due to severe, persistent environmental problems. In the Rouge River, these problems include poor water quality caused by pollution and loss of wildlife habitat due to human activity such as development.

History of the Rouge River Advisory Council (RRAC)

There are 43 AOCs within the Great Lakes watershed and 14 in Michigan, including the Rouge River. The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA) of 1978 between the United States and Canada requires the development of a RAP for each AOC.

A RAP notes problems in the AOC, identifies the causes and sources of pollutants of concern, and determines what actions are needed to correct the problems and to prevent future ones. It also lists 14 potential "use impairments" - undesirable conditions that restrict how the water can be used. In Michigan, the Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) is responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of RAPs.

Work on "The Rouge River Strategy" was started in October 1985. It later became the Rouge River RAP, and was completed and adopted by stakeholders in 1989. The RAP describes actions needed to clean up and preserve the Rouge River, and sets out a 20-year plan to accomplish these goals. Michigan's RAP process requires that the RAP be updated every two years. A technical group known as the "RAP Team" was formed in 1993 to revise the RAP. A public participation committee known as the "Rouge RAP Advisory Council" (now the Rouge River Advisory Council - RRAC) was also convened in 1993 to advise the team on RAP issues.

Responsible for advising the MDEQ on the update and implementation of the Rouge RAP, the RRAC formed a number of subcommittees to deal with more specific issues such as habitat destruction, nonpoint source pollution (such as stormwater runoff), on-site sewage disposal, public education, contaminated sites, and headwater land use. They also act as liaison with the public at large and with interest groups to ensure that there is adequate public participation in the RAP process.

RRAC Mission

The mission of the RRAC is to assist in the attainment of the goals of the Rouge River Remedial Action Plan (RAP) by enhancing public awareness and education concerning RAP issues, providing a mechanism for the participation of all interested parties, seeking broad-based support for the RAP update, assisting in implementation of the Rouge RAP, and independently evaluating progress toward the goal of restoring designated uses and delisting the Rouge River watershed as an Area of Concern.

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other RRAC Supported Projects:

Rouge River AOC Habitat Design Projects - Tamarack Creek in Southfield and Johnson Creek Fish Hatchery in Northville  
Lower Rouge River Old Channel - to begin in 2019 Rouge Fish Survey comparison results from 2011-2016 and 1998
Rouge River AOC Wayne County Habitat Restoration (Oxbow Phase III, Henry Ford Estate Fishway and Nankin Lake Restoration) Wayne County Phragmites treatment locations list and map

Transforming the Rouge

Danvers Pond Dam Removal

Fordson Island Project

Wayne Road Dam Removal and Restoration

Questions? Contact Us

Info on Projects Needed to Remove Habitat BUIs

Habitat Project List and Map 2/2016 (updated 10/18, 2/19, 6/20)

Habitat Project List approval letter by RRAC on 2/22/16

Potential Project in the Rouge River Watershed? Fill out the template!

RRAC Bylaws

Five-Year Vision (Sept. 2012)

Become a member

Reports and Other Info
(Check out for Eat Safe Fish information and the State's Water Strategy)

Meeting Information
Last meeting summary:
May 3, 2021 meeting summary

January 12, 2021 meeting summary

June 3, 2020 meeting summary

September 29, 2020 meeting summary


Alliance of Rouge Communities
Friends of the Rouge
Lawrence Technological University
Southeast Michigan Council of Goverments
Wayne County DPS

Related Links

Great Lakes AOC: Rouge River

Michigan Statewide Public Advisory Council

- SPAC mtg minutes 7/2020

- SPAC mtg minutes 10/2020

- SPAC mtg minutes 3/2021



Rouge River Advisory Council (RRAC)
c/o Alliance of Rouge Communities, 46036 Michigan Ave., Suite 126, Canton, MI 48188