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River Restoration

How we care for the land impacts water quality in our local lakes and rivers.  The River Restoration program teaches residents of the watershed how to manage their land to improve water quality and to provide wildlife habitat through hands-on projects and educational events. 

Riparian (waterfront) landowners must recognize their property is part of a larger system and log jams, bank erosion, and flooding are natural processes.  Establishing a buffer zone of native plants, managing (rather than removing) woody debris and using soft bioengineering techniques to stabilize banks will all help to reduce erosion and improve water quality for us and the fish and wildlife that depend on the river.

Our actions impact water quality whether we live along the river or not.  The Rouge River is an urban river.  Much of the land is covered by buildings, roads, parking lots and houses.  These impervious surfaces prevent rainwater and snow melt from soaking into the ground.  To prevent flooding on our roads and in our neighborhoods rainwater is collected in catch basins on streets and parking lots and is piped to nearby streams, carrying with it pollutants picked up along the way.  The result is a flashy river system where water levels rise rapidly during and after wet weather which scours stream banks and increases sediment in the stream. 

What can you do to help improve water quality?

Landscaping practices, proper waste disposal, and home, yard and car care have an impact on water quality in lakes and rivers.  Here's how you can help protect the Rouge River and Western Lake Erie.    


Upcoming Events

Caring for Land Along Rivers Workshop


Do you live on the Rouge River and suffer from erosion or just want to learn what you can do to protect this wonderful natural resource in your yard?  Attend one of the workshops below to learn how.  



September, 24, 2015 ~ Summit on the Park, 46000 Summit Parkway, Canton


September 29, 2015 ~ Franklin Community Church, 26425 Wellington Rd., Franklin


October 6, 2015 ~ Novi Council Chambers, 45175 Ten Mile Rd., Novi



All workshops will be held from 6:30 - 8:30 PM. 

Register online or by phone 313.792.9621

Feel free to download or print a flyer to share with friends and neighbors



The River Restoration Program is funded, in part, by:

The Bloomfield Hills Garden Club (Branch of the National Women's Farm and Garden Association)