You will need to
Harvest Rain Water
Save money by watering your lawn, gardens and houseplants with rain water. Save the river from receiving too much rain water during wet weather. More information
To install a rain barrel
Install a Rain Garden
These shallow dish shaped gardens are designed to retain rain water for up to 48 hours. Much of the rain water is taken in by the plants, transpired back to the atmosphere or infiltrates deep into the ground. Rain gardens provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other important pollinators.
Create Native Wildflower Gardens
Replacing lawns with native gardens helps to improve water quality and wildlife habitat. The deep roots of many native plants provide a way for rain water to soak deep into the ground. The plants provide food (seed, pollen, nectar, leaves, etc) and shelter for birds, butterflies and other important pollinators.
Pervious pavers or pervious cement are great alternatives to traditional cement and asphalt for drives and walkways. Consider using these materials when replacing your drive, patio or sidewalk. These products allow rain water to permeate through the material rather than run off the landscape and into the river.
REDUCING STREAMBANK EROSION
Stabilizing the Toe (Bottom of the Streambank)
Coir logs or large woody debris can be staked in to reduce localized erosion at the toe of the bank. This may be necessary to allow native vegetation to become established in erosion prone areas. Erosion control blankets may also be necessary to protect plantings from washing away in high water. A permit from MDEQ is required before this work can be completed.
Managing Woody Debris
In the recent past, logjams were presumed to be a significant problem in urban rivers, such as the Rouge River, and were completely removed from stream channels. New studies have now shown that properly managed logjams help reduce erosion, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and are an important part of a river system's natural processes.
REDUCING NONPOINT SOURCE POLLUTION
Limit Chemical Use
Pick up Pet Waste
Pick up pet waste before rainy weather or snow melt to prevent bacteria from entering the river through the storm sewer. Many communities in the Rouge watershed have separate storm sewers that collect rain water from streets and parking lots and discharge directly to the Rouge River. The water isn't treated and rain water picks up lots of pollutants from lawns, parking lots, roads and highways.
Compost Yard Waste
Compost provides nutrients and improves garden soil. Composting is easy and saves waste from being trucked to a landfill or a composting facility. Compost acts like a sponge and soaks up lots of rainwater.
How to do it
Mulch Garden Beds
Mulch helps to retain moisture in the garden and helps to reduce weeds. Mulch also keeps gardens looking fresh and cared for.