Rouge Education Project
What is the Rouge Education Project?
The Rouge Education Project (REP) is a multidisciplinary, school-based initiative to raise awareness of pollution in the Rouge River among K-12 students, and encourage them to take action to restore and protect the river. The project's focus is the study of the Rouge River: its history, current issues, how to monitor its health, how to restore it, and how to become its steward. As a water quality monitoring and watershed education project, the REP engages students' interest, concern, and commitment through real-world education. The project also builds school-community-university partnerships through corporate sponsors, corporate volunteers, and trained volunteers who assist teachers participating in the REP. The project is coordinated by Friends of the Rouge.
Who participates in the REP?
All public and private elementary, middle and high schools within (or with an interest in) the Rouge River watershed are eligible to participate in the REP. The program began in 1987 with 16 high schools, and has had as many as 100 elementary, middle and high schools participate in a given year. Typically, 30-40 schools join annually.
What does participation in the REP involve?
Schools participating in the REP learn background information about the Rouge River watershed in the classroom, and then take a field trip to a unique sampling site along the river on "Monitoring Day." At the site, students take multidisciplinary steps to investigate the health of the river. They monitor up to nine chemical parameters, conduct a survey of the physical conditions, and sample for benthic macroinvertebrates (aquatic organisms). From their results, they calculate a standardized numerical value that indicates the relative health of the river section surveyed. What do students gain? Check it out here.
How is the REP financially supported?
The REP is financially supported by corporate sponsors, foundations supporting environmental education, and other grants received by Friends of the Rouge.
The program also relies on small contributions from participating schools.
Thank you to our 2014-2015 sponsors:
- Consumers Energy Foundation**
- Daughters of the American Revolution (with endorsement from the local Colonel Joshua Howard Chapter, Dearborn)**
- LUSH Cosmetics Charity Pot**
- Masco Corporation Foundation**
- Michigan Association of Environmental Professionals**
- Arch Environmental Group, Inc.*
- Garden Club of Dearborn*
- 4M Industries, Inc.
- General Motors: Romulus Engine
- Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc.
**contributed $2,500 or more
REP 2015 Spring Monitoring Schools & Sampling Sites
How can I get involved?
REP registration starts at the beginning of the school year in September and closes in October.
Due to funding constraints, no new schools will be added in 2014-2015.
If you are a teacher that is interested in joining the Rouge Education Project in the future, contact the REP Program Manager with the school name, city, grade level and subject(s) you teach, and the size of the group you would like to involve.
We also train volunteers to assist the schools with monitoring.
Corporations can get involved by participating in the Adopt-a-School Campaign.