Corporate investments along the lower Rouge River have created thousands of jobs and enhanced environmental status of the region

October 13, 2008

DEARBORN / Oct. 13, 2008---More than $7 billion worth of new investments have been planned or completed along the lower eight miles of the Rouge River this decade.

“These investments have created thousands of jobs, and enhanced and improved the environmental status of the Rouge River and its watershed,” according to Edward Bagale, vice chancellor for government relations at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and co-chair of the Rouge River Gateway Partnership.

Leaders of the firms that have invested in new industrial and manufacturing facilities along the Rouge will discuss their efforts at a half-day meeting to be held at UM-Dearborn on Friday, Oct. 24.

“We are celebrating these great corporate citizens who are leading by example and building a sustainable future for our region,” Bagale said.

The firms to be represented include Ford Motor Co., DTE Energy, Marathon Oil, Severstal Steel and the Edward C. Levy Co. Among other projects during this decade, Ford invested approximately $2 billion in its truck plant; Marathon has announced plans for a new refining facility in the area; DTE is planning major alternative energy investments; and Severstal Steel is spending approximately $1 billion on a new blast furnace at their Dearborn facility.

The panel will be moderated by Edward C. Levy Jr., “a legendary figure in manufacturing whose father helped Henry Ford build the original Ford Rouge plant,” Bagale said. “Today their firm supplies the technology that contributes to the world’s highest quality rolled steel.”

The 18th annual meeting also will feature reports on the environmental status of the Rouge River watershed and other water-related issues in the Detroit metropolitan area. Elected officials, government policy makers, environmental activists and concerned citizens are expected to attend.

The meeting will run from 8 a.m. to noon, Friday, Oct. 24 in UM-Dearborn’s Fairlane Center North building, at 19000 Hubbard Dr.

The Rouge River watershed spans approximately 438 square miles, and is home to more than 1.5 million people in 48 communities and three counties.

The Rouge River Gateway Partnership is a coalition of businesses, cultural and academic institutions and governmental agencies along the Rouge River.

“This alliance may be the finest example of intergovernmental collaboration in the nation, comprising dozens of different levels of government from township officials all the way up to the U.S. Congress and federal agencies,” Bagale said. “What we all share is a commitment to supporting a sustainable environment and economic prosperity in our region.”

The meeting is free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Those planning to attend should call 313-593-5140, or send an e-mail to






CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: 313-593-5518
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn