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Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Rouge River, Michigan
Location: Rouge River, south of Detroit, Michigan. The Rouge River is a tributary of the Detroit River, which flows from Lake Saint Clair southward to Lake Erie.
Date of Incident: 9 April 2002 and 12 April 2002
Incident Description: Following a heavy rain event, a mixture of diesel fuel and lube waste oil was observed the morning of April 9, 2002, in the Rouge River. In the late evening of April 12, 2002, or the early morning of April 13th, another oil spill occurred after a heavy rainfall. It appeared the oil came from one of the combined sewer outfalls on the River Rouge (Baby Creek Outfall). This release was trapped in the River Rouge due to booming at the mouth, preventing further releases oil into the Detroit River. This spill was significantly greater than the first release.
Resources Impacted: Oil released during the first spill impacted approximately 17 miles of shoreline in the United States and almost 10 miles on the Canadian side of the Detroit River, including approximately 1 mile of shoreline at the Lake Erie Metropark where oiled marsh vegetation was cut and removed.
Over the course of the spill, oiled birds and reptiles were observed, including ruddy ducks, buffleheads, mergansers, scaup, coots, mallards, Canada geese, and one dead and two rehabilitated turtles.
Final Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan
Draft Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan
An Administrative Record is the compilation of materials that were used to inform a decision made by a Federal agency. In this case, the Administrative Record provides the documentation of injury and necessary restoration to restore, rehabilitate, replace, or acquire the equivalent of the affected natural resources injured by the Rouge River Mystery Oil Spill. As the Federal Lead Administrative Trustee, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for maintaining the Administrative Record.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
State of Michigan Department of the Attorney General
State of Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources