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Friends of the Rouge: Spring Survey Shows Health Improvement in River

One area of the Rouge River that showed improvement in the 2012 Spring Bug Hunt Report was the Main Branch, which runs through Birmingham.

Things are looking up for the Rouge River, according to the Metro Detroit nonprofit (FOTR).

FOTR’s 2012 Spring Bug Hunt Report, released this month, shows that two branches of the Rouge River — the Middle Branch and the Main Branch — are showing an upward trend in health.

The Spring Bug Hunt is an annual event part of a program to collect data on certain types of bugs that live in the streambed. The type and abundance of mayfly, dragonfly and stonefly and other larvae can be translated into a “score” for a site, telling biologists whether a site is good, fair, poor or excellent.

The two branches that showed improvement were the Middle Branch that includes Johnson Creek and the Walled Lake Drainage and follows Hines Drive from Northville to Ford Road in Dearborn; as well as the Main Branch in Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Beverly Hills and Southfield.

The Spring Bug Hunt is part of a long-term monitoring program that was created in 1998 to train local residents to collect information about the health of Rouge streams.  It is coordinated by Friends of the Rouge in partnership with Wayne County Department of Public Service Watershed Management Division and supported by the Erb Family Foundation.

FOTR has been collecting data since 2001.

The Fall Bug Hunt will be held on Saturday October 20, 2012, and volunteers are welcome. Pre-registration is required. For more information or to sign up, visit the Friends of the Rouge website.

Friends of the Rouge is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting restoration and stewardship of the Rouge River ecosystem through education, citizen involvement and other collaborative efforts. 

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