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Don't Miss Nov. 14 Screening Event: Clear Water

Don't Miss Nov. 14 Screening Event: Clear Water

CLEAR WATER: DETROIT’S RIVER REVIVAL is a documentary film that tells an inspirational story of environmental recovery. FOTR is pleased to bring this exclusive film screening to you! Post-screening Q&A with Dr. John Hartig.


RainSmart - Restoring Your River One Yard at a Time

RainSmart - Restoring Your River One Yard at a Time

With over 1.35 million people living in the lands that drain to the Rouge, 1,000 rain gardens & 6,000 rain barrels are big but doable short-term goals for Rouge River restoration. Get started by taking the RainSmart Challenge!

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Zug Island photo by Notorious4life, faded

Trump policy may jeopardize progress for the Rouge

Trump policy may jeopardize progress for the Rouge

The EPA announced that it is repealing regulations limiting which chemicals could be used near waterways. The agency is eliminating some restrictions on fossil fuel pollution. Photo by Notorious4life (Wikipedia).

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FOTR Happenings

PARC Capital Campaign

Help FOTR in our new space!
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The FOTR Wish List

Every little bit helps!
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Friends of the Rouge

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U s fish and wildlife: whitefish and sturgeon are spawning in Detroit River for the first time in 70 years


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Our Services

Friends of the Rouge in ACTION

Rouge Rescue

Rouge Education Project

River Restoration

River Monitoring

Rouge River Water Trail

Our annual river clean up

Since 1986, volunteers have removed large quantities of trash from the river. Public perception shifted from the river as an open sewer and a place to dump trash to its restoration including invasive plants removal, installation of native plantings, and stabilization of stream banks.

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School-based environmental education

We involve elementary, middle, and high schools from across southeastern Michigan. Students learn about the Rouge River in class, and then perform hands-on scientific exploration of the river on a field trip to its banks. They are encouraged to take action to restore and protect the river.

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How we care for the land

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.

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Residents become citizen scientists

This program engages residents to become citizen scientists, collecting data about the health of the watershed through biological indicator species (bugs, frogs, fish, etc.) that reflect the long-term health of the watershed. As water quality improves, bugs frogs and fish are returning.

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Along 29.25 miles of the Lower Rouge

FOTR is currently working with local partners to develop a water trail on 29.25 miles of the Lower Rouge from Canton to the Detroit River. Much of the river corridor is protected within Wayne County Parks, making it ideal for the development of launches and amenities.

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Volunteer to Make a Difference

Friends of the Rouge began as a volunteer organization, so volunteerism sits at the core of mission to serve the Rouge River watershed.

Become a Member

Be part of the legacy. Support the vital work we do by helping us meet critical milestones for programs that make a lasting impact of the Rouge River watershed’s health.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Get involved! Support our diverse programs through sponsorships that have the power to make real and lasting change for the health of the Rouge River watershed!

Networking to Build Community

Our community stakeholders, partners, and alliances make our watershed healthier! Thank you to all who make a difference by caring about the Rouge River.

Financial Transparency

We adhere to all federal and state regulations, produce annual financial audits, submit all reporting documents in a timely manner with clear accounting methods and record keeping.


Curious about something in the Rouge? We may already have an answer to commonly asked questions regarding our organization or the watershed. Check out our FAQs HERE.

Our Sponsors

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  • Erb Family Foundation logo
  • ITC logo
  • Advanced Disposal logo
  • DTE Energy logo
  • ECT logo
  • Woman's National Farm and Garden Bloomfield logo
  • OHM logo
  • Pure Oakland Water logo

Voices for the Rouge