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The Rouge River Project
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Rouge River Gateway Ecosystem
Restoration Project

The Rouge River Gateway Corridor is one of the most important natural and cultural assets of southeast Michigan. It includes the rivers final eight miles and five neighboring communities. This area has all the ingredients of a vibrant urban place: nature, culture, people, and economic strength.

Enthusiastic stakeholders, realizing the potential of an improving river environment, have combined forces to create a vision for sustainable development. The Rouge River Gateway Partnership formed in 1999 from a diverse leadership group representing Wayne County, five municipalities, cultural institutions, and private businesses.

Under the guidance of the Partnership, a master plan was developed in 2001 that encourages people, ecology, and economy to coexist equitably and sustainably in the landscape. The plan included a number of projects to restore relationships between the Rouge and its natural and social systems. An update to the Gateway Master Plan was published in 2005 that highlighted the numerous projects which had already been completed or were underway, such as the greening of the Ford Rouge Center, restoration of a river oxbow at The Henry Ford: America's Greatest History Attraction, and completion of an Environmental Interpretive Center along the banks of the Rouge River at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

In 2011, the Rouge Gateway Master Plan was updated to mark 10 years of progress toward reaching the goal of strengthening economic development while restoring the ecosystem, increasing recreation, and preserving the area's rich heritage. The 2011 Rouge Gateway Master Plan highlighted numerous additional projects that have been completed, including:

  • The first phase of the Rouge Greenway, linking Wayne County's Hines Park to Henry Ford Community College, the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus, the Henry Ford Estate, and the Michigan Avenue corridor.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers has completed initial plans for partial removal of the concrete channel to create new fish habitat and natural riverbanks.
  • There has been billions of dollars of corporate investment along the banks of Rouge River in the last decade.

Click on the following links to learn more about this innovative project:

Rouge Gateway Master Plan Update, June 2011

Rouge Gateway Master Plan Update, 2005

Rouge Gateway Master Plan, July 2001

Henry Ford Estate Heritage and Wildlife Education and Recreation Plan, May 2000

Rouge Oxbow Restoration Project

Rouge Gateway Project Overview

2002 Honor Award-Michigan Chapter of the American Society of Landscape


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Gateway Ecosystem Restoration Project

Last Updated: 5/11/2012

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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.