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Rouge Rescue

Each June Friends of the Rouge, in partnership with Rouge communities, brings volunteers together from across the watershed to work toward the common goal of improving the Rouge River for generations to come.  This annual river clean up event, known as Rouge Rescue, began in 1986 with volunteers removing large quantities of trash from the river.  As river sites improved public perception of the river shifted away from the thought that the river was just an open sewer and a place to dump trash.  Today much of the event is focused on river restoration and volunteers work to remove invasive plants from the river corridor, install native plantings and stabilize stream banks to improve the health of the river.

Rouge Rescues of the past involved ripping out every log jam.  Today we recognize the value of wood in the river and no longer strive to remove log jams.  Instead wood is managed to reduce localized erosion, slow the force of the river's flow and provide habitat for fish and other organisms.   Many Rouge Rescue work sites engage volunteers in managing the wood in the river using the Woody Debris Management 101 method to reduce stream bank erosion and create in-stream habitat.

2014 Volunteer Opportunities

Lead a work site - Do you know of an area that could use a cleanup?  Organize a work site for Rouge Rescue.  Projects range from trash cleanup to invasive plant removal, native plantings and other stewardship activities.  Call Cyndi at 313.792.9621 for more information. 

Help with volunteer registration - Want to help protect and clean the Rouge River but you are not able to do the physical work?  Many work sites could use help with signing in volunteers.  

Take photographs at work sites - We are always in need of good photos of volunteers participating in our events and activities.  Volunteers are needed to visit a few work sites to capture the volunteers in action.  

Participate at a work site - Gather your friends and neighbors and help clean and restore the Rouge River.  Multiple dates and locations are available. 

Please call 313.792.9621 or email cross@therouge.org for more information.  



The amount of trash removed during Rouge Rescue would fill 250 55-gallon drums. The invasive plant material removed would fill a whopping 25,250 drums!

Join us on May 17, 2014 for

Thank you to all who came out to help the river during Rouge Rescue 2013!

Photo Highlights from 2013


Thank you Sponsors!




& the Bloomfield Hills Garden Club

Rouge Rescue Sponsorship Opportunities Available

Please contact Cyndi Ross at 313.792.9621 or cross@therouge.org to learn more.