Water attracted early settlers to Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery. Today we continue to explore Detroit’s waterfront: Challenges and opportunities in our series Detroit’s Water Renaissance.
So far, we’ve looked at lucrative walleye fishing on the Detroit River, daylighting streams and rebuilding shorelines. Today we explore the Rouge River. The Rouge River in Detroit is one of Michigan's—and the Great Lakes—most polluted waterways. Generations of air and water pollution from heavy industry near the mouth of the river contaminated its sediments and made it unsafe for fishing. Upstream, dense urban populations have overwhelmed sewer and storm water systems, sometimes dumping raw sewage into the Rouge. The result is a river in trouble.