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Friends of the Rouge celebrates the great work completed by volunteers during Rouge Rescue, an annual river clean up event organized by the non-profit organization.  This past May and June, 1,759 volunteers worked to clean and restore the Rouge River at 41 work sites in Detroit and 21 metro Detroit suburbs. 

 A report on Rouge Rescue 2012 has just been released.  The report summarizes the volunteer accomplishments during the event and provides details of the work completed at each site.   Friends of the Rouge is excited to share the highlights from the report and invite people to download the full report from the Friends website at www.therouge.org.

A great deal of work was accomplished by volunteers.  Eighty-five cubic yards of trash were removed from the river and surrounding floodplain during Rouge Rescue.  That is equivalent to filling 312 55 gallon rain barrels with trash!  This includes 29 tires, 9 shopping carts, 11 large household items including mattresses, sofas, recliners and more.  Additionally, 2 vehicles were removed from the River in Detroitís Eliza Howell Park by volunteers from Aristeo Construction.

Volunteers also worked to remove 198 cubic yards of invasive plants.  This important work helps to improve biodiversity in parks and nature preserves across the watershed.  Using the rain barrel analogy, the invasive plant material removed would fill 727 rain barrels!

Three thousand, nine hundred sixty (3,960) native wildflowers and grasses and 60 trees and shrubs were planted to reduce the impact of rainwater, such as streambank erosion and pollution carried to the river through storm sewers.

Trends over the past 5 years reveal less trash for volunteers to remove and an increase in restoration projects, such as invasive plant removal and native plantings.  This is great news to those working to improve the Rouge River as these restoration projects will have long term impacts and will help to improve water quality in the river. 

Friends o f the Rouge wishes to thank all of the site coordinators, community partners and corporate sponsors for their contributions to Rouge Rescue 2012.  The event would not be possible without the time and talent these dedicated individuals contribute.  Corporate partners supporting the event include ITC, REI, Aristeo Construction, Waste Management, Coca-Cola and Marine Pollution Control.