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WATERSHED PLANNING AND INNOVATIVE TOOLS FOR NATURAL RESOURCE PROTECTION

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A unique partnership of 48 communities and 3 counties in the Rouge River Watershed in southeast Michigan has approached the upcoming federal Phase II National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater regulations through the Michigan General Voluntary Stormwater Permit using a watershed approach. The Rouge River watershed has been characterized by heavy stormwater pollutant loads from urbanized areas downstream, to agriculture and rapidly developing areas in the headwaters. In order to find ways to address these diverse set of stormwater issues, the Rouge River watershed was divided geographically into seven subwatersheds and Subwatershed Management Plans were developed to address the unique stormwater needs in each area. Outcomes of the planning process for headwater areas of the Middle and Lower Rouge River, which focused on both the restoration and protection of the river and its tributaries, illustrate how both rural and developing communities have addressed water resource management within a watershed context. Innovative approaches to protecting natural resources in less developed and rapidly developing urban fringe areas include the Salem Township Stormwater Management Ordinance and the Lower One Wetland Assessment and Protection Plan.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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