Sally Petrella is the Monitoring Manager for Friends of the Rouge and also supports the development of the water trail. Prior to coming to work for Friends of the Rouge, she served as a zookeeper for the City of Detroit for eight years.
Petrella has been inspiring Rouge River residents to become stewards of the river by engaging them in biological monitoring and river work since 2000, sharing her knowledge of the natural world and passion for the restoration of the river. Working with local, state, and EPA officials, she oversees citizen science programs that collect data on benthic macroinvertebrates, calling amphibians, fish, and aquatic plants to assess and inform watershed restoration. She regularly organizes a large cleanup in Detroit and initiated the development of a water trail when water quality improved enough to allow safe paddling on the Rouge River.
Growing up in southeast Michigan near the Rouge River, Petrella has always had a strong connection to the natural environment, Detroit, and a commitment to improving it for all. She and her husband are active in improving their neighborhood park – Rouge Park in Detroit. They spend their free time gardening, backpacking, and paddling. Petrella holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Michigan.