Friends of the Rouge promotes collaborative efforts across the 48 Rouge communities to improve habitat quality. Part of that effort includes responsible management of invasive species. Invasive species, introduced from all across the world, often cause harm in a variety of ways.
- Typically, they outcompete native plants and animals, harming the web of life that depends upon native species.
- Sometimes they also harm tourism, fisheries, and other forms of economic development.
- More often, we notice the aesthetics: once open, scenic natural areas now closed in by a dense cover of invasive shrubs, or beaches washed-up with dead alewives.
Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas (CISMAs), are groups of non-profit and government agencies, businesses and volunteers that have come together to tackle the issue of invasive species in their regions. CISMAs can offer a range of services including information on preventing, identifying, reporting and managing invasive species. Some CISMAs provide management assistance to private landowners. In the Rouge River watershed, the Oakland County CISMA is very active and Friends of the Rouge is a partner.