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The Rouge River Project
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Watershed ManagementBrief SummaryOverview Description of Watershed Management in the Rouge WatershedSubwatershed Management PlanningCompleted Subwatershed PlansCommon Appendix for Subwatershed Management PlansWatershed Restoration ProjectsWatershed Restoration ReportsRouge Project Presentations on the Watershed Management ApproachInstitutional and Financial ArrangementsOther Watershed Management Information

Institutional and Financial Arrangements

Institutional arrangements and financing options necessary to restore the Rouge are one of the many elements that the local communities in the Rouge Watershed are addressing. The framework for institutional arrangements in the Rouge watershed is based on the Michigan General Storm Water Permit, and has evolved into a "bottom up" approach with three levels of activity:

  • Local
  • Subwatershed Advisory Groups
  • Watershed-wide Rouge Project Steering Committee

Much of the work of the Rouge restoration effort is being done at the local level by citizens and individual communities. This flexible framework has allowed communities to experiment with various approaches that recognize local constraints and seizes upon unique opportunities to meet the desired outcomes defined in the subwatershed management plan.

As part of the subwatershed planning process, communities and agencies are also identifying and implementing more cost effective and efficient methods to meet the requirements of the General Storm Water Permit and other programs through cooperatively developed projects. Evaluating the sources of water quality problems and/or the threats to existing uses of the river at the subwatershed level by local agencies is leading to a better understanding of local constraints, opportunities for innovative solutions, ownership of the long term river restoration effort and interagency cooperation.

Rouge Project Steering Committee
Issues which cross subwatershed boundaries are identified by the Subwatershed Advisory Groups and referred to those coordinating watershed-wide issues. The Rouge Project Steering Committee is currently providing coordination of the individual subwatershed efforts and is assisting subwatersheds in developing a comprehensive strategy for addressing watershed-wide issues. See the following documents for information on the Steering Committee: Rouge Watershed Steering Committee Summary; Rouge Project Steering Committee Purposes; Membership and Operating Procedures; and Rouge Project Steering Committee Membership List. Minutes from the Steering Committee are available by clicking here.

Evolving Institutional Arrangements
A major item of focus in 2001 was discussion on the direction of the Rouge River restoration efforts for 2002 and 2003. A planning retreat for communities with NPDES permits in the Rouge watershed was held on October 4, 2001 to explore options associated with institutional arrangements for the Rouge Watershed. Representatives from approximately 35 communities attended this all-day retreat to discuss Rouge Project activities and processes for the next several years. The principle conclusion was that a new watershed-wide organization was needed to further the continued efforts in the Rouge River restoration. It was decided that a new "Drafting Committee" would be established to work in parallel with the Steering Committee for a period of time to develop recommendations on a number of issues including the following:

  • Planning for water quality and water quantity issues in the watershed;
  • Establishing priorities for projects that relate to goals, targets and schedules;
  • Providing advocacy for the members at the federal/state/regional and local level;
  • Coordinating the activities and management plans for the Subwatershed Advisory Groups;
  • Coordinating and perhaps managing watershed-wide sampling/monitoring; and
  • Addressing regional concerns including providing a forum for coordination of issues with the Detroit Water and Sewer Department.

In May 2002 the Drafting Committee completed a Draft Agreement for the Rouge River Watershed Local Management Assembly and presented it to the communities at the Rouge Retreat 2. Click here to view the Executive Summary Proposed Rouge River Watershed Local Management Assembly. The Drafting Committee solicited comments from affected communities and agencies through August 1, 2002. On September 11, 2002 the Drafting Committee issued its final draft document saying that "It is the Drafting Committee's considered opinion that the September 11, 2002 Draft Agreement provides the best opportunity to initiate a watershed organization that can enhance communication and build trust among local agencies responsible for water management in the Rouge River Watershed." Click here to view the Draft Agreement. Click here to view the transmittal letter to the communities from James D. Anulewicz, Chair, Rouge River Watershed Drafting Committee which summarizes the proposed schedule of events for implementing the agreement. A December 6, 2002 Workshop will be held to finalize the Agreement and its implementation schedule.

View the Assembly of Rouge Communities Web page.

Last Updated: 11/4/02

Please address all comments and suggestions about the contents of this Web page to DOEHelp@co.wayne.mi.us.

The Rouge River National Wet Weather Demonstration Project is funded, in part, by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Grants #XP995743-01, -02, -03, -04, -05, -06, -07, -08, -09 and C-264000-01.