As you may have heard, Friends of the Rouge learned in late October that the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Program might be losing its funding. At that time, the Alliance of Rouge Communities recommended the discontinuation of 2018 funding due to budget priorities. For those unfamiliar with the program, it includes the Spring and Fall Bug Hunts and the Winter Stonefly Search. These three sampling events involve hundreds of volunteers in collecting data and learning about the watershed. Started in 1998, this will be our 20th year and it would be a shame to end it.
When we learned the funding cut decision was final in December, we sprang into action, seeking new funding and looking for ways to reduce program costs. The program needs $30,000 a year. Thanks to generous donations from 29 individuals as well as three larger sponsors (Washtenaw County Water Resources Commission, Waste Management, Erb Family Foundation) we have raised enough funding to go ahead with the Winter Stonefly Search. The Spring and Fall Bug Hunts still need funding. Here is the link to donate, please donate and share. Thank you to all who have donated.
The Stonefly Search will go on Sat. Jan. 20, 2018 9am-3pm at the EIC. To save staff time, we have a new registration link that will ask volunteers to sign up for a specific team. There is a link to a map of the sites at the top of the form so volunteers can choose a team that goes to sites they are interested in.