For the past 25 years Friends of the Rouge has led hundreds of thousands of volunters to the Rouge River to remove trash, open log jams and improve the environment during its annual Rouge Rescue event. While Rouge Rescue is the organization's signature event, Friends of the Rouge has raised the evironmental awareness of school children in Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw Counties, teaching them and their teachers to annually conduct both chemical and biological water quality tests each spring. Many schools have expanded this experience across many subjects including science, math, language arts, geography and history. The Rouge Project is especially attractive to local businesses who are given an opportunity to "adopt"one or more schools through financial contributions and employee involvement. The focus of Friends of the Rouge on public involvement and participation brings thousands of local adults to monitor the progress of the Rouge River in supporting fish and insects that provide physical evidence of the river's water quality. With the support of federal, state, county and local governments, Friends of the Rouge has seen steady improvement in improving the Rouge River from and open sewer and convenient dumping site for everything from grocery carts to cars and trucks. As a sign of that improvement, in early October hosted more than 40 people in canoeing the Lower Rouge River through the city of Wayne. Through all their activities, Friends of the Rouge has raised the environmental awareness of many thousand young people and adults and helped change public attitudes about the river from a public eyesore to a public resource that can be used and enjoyed. Friends of the Rouge staff and volunteers are very deserving of recognition as a Great Non-profit organization.