Detroit’s Water Renaissance: A river with old enemies and new allies

Sep 24, 2013

Water attracted early settlers to Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery.

So far we’ve looked at lucrative walleye fishing on the Detroit River, daylighting streams, rebuilding shorelines and the destruction of the Rouge River. Today we explore efforts to clean up the Rouge.

When a river is as heavily polluted as Detroit’s Rouge River, it’s hard to imagine how it could ever be cleaned up. We heard last week that the Rouge is one of the most polluted rivers in the Great Lakes.  Yet there is a plan to if not restore the Rouge to its pre-industrial state, at least bring the river back to better health.  As independent producer Karen Schaefer reports, it will take a lot of time, money, and cooperation between government, non-profit groups, and industry to get the job done.  Some of that work is already underway.

This is the last installment of our Detroit’s Water Renaissance series. This story is produced by Current State and Great Lakes Echo with support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.