Because the Rouge River watershed is over 50% urbanized, the Rouge River faces some difficult challenges.Urbanization generally means that there is a high percentage of the watershed covered with impervious surfaces. Impervious surfaces are those that do not allow water to percolate or absorb through the soil. These types of surfaces include parking lots, streets, rooftops, and driveways and lead to large amounts of surface water that runs off into the river during wet weather events.
Rouge River Watershed Map of Impervious Surfaces, 1995
Increased volumes of runoff can lead to flooding and a higher velocity or flow of the river. Increased flow creates friction along the stream banks and eventually the bank itself begins to erode away and the loose sediment is carried down stream.
Sediment creates a number of problems for aquatic life:
Flooding and erosion control measures include:
The Watershed >