Bob Burns, the Detroit Riverkeeper, and I have visited the lower Rouge each month since May gathering water pollution data. The air is stifling, even with a 15 mph wind during May, my throat burned after just a half hour exposure. There is a whole bouquet of offensive odors including grit and smelting vapors from the steel complex at Ford Rouge, cement dust, refinery odors, incinerated waste sludge from the Detroit sewage plant, on one occasion the wind was blowing from the Windsor waste incinerator bathing River Rouge in a particularly nauseating stench. I find it appalling that families with children, as well workers, are forced to exist in these conditions. If corporate executives had to live in this foul plume or if political parties were forced to hold their conventions there things would change. Anyone who doesn't believe air and water pollution in America are a reality in the Twenty-first Century should visit the lower Rouge.
Friends of the Detroit River