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TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Our Rouge Burn Anniversary Event

TICKETS ON SALE NOW: Our Rouge Burn Anniversary Event

Join us Oct. 10 for this event marking the 50th Anniversary of the Rouge River Fire of 1969. Celebrate the renewal of the Rouge River & a look to the next 50 years. Distinguished guests include keynote speaker, author Martin Doyle.

Purchase your tickets today!

Sign up for our Fall Bug Hunt - No Experience Needed

Sign up for our Fall Bug Hunt - No Experience Needed

…but registration is required. Volunteer to help look for bugs in Rouge streams on Saturday October 19, 2019. This is a fun way to learn more about what lives in the Rouge River while helping us to collect data on its health.

Register today!
September Kayak Trip 092907

Don't Miss this Fall's Last Paddling Trip!

Don't Miss this Fall's Last Paddling Trip!

Sat. Oct. 5, 2019 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Paddle through a forested floodplain seeing lots of wildlife. This one and a half to two hour trip takes place on the Lower Branch of the Rouge River within the city of Wayne.

Register Now!

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 BBB Charity Seal

Friends of the Rouge

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Heading out to open logjams. ... See MoreSee Less

Heading out to open logjams.

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Why are you opening them up? Won’t that just increase erosion?

Tre Boogie Joel Burke


Friends of the Rouge

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rouge rescue

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.

Learn more...

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

  • BOSCH logo
  • Erb Family Foundation logo
  • DeRoy Testamentary 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