WATCH: Searching for stoneflies

WATCH: Searching for stoneflies
April 5, 2023 Great Lakes Now

A citizen science initiative is in full effect on Detroit’s Rouge River, once one of the most polluted waterways in the Great Lakes.

Every winter Friends of the Rouge, a group dedicated to promoting the restoration and stewardship of the Rouge River, hosts their annual stonefly survey. The stonefly is a pollution-sensitive aquatic insect that calls the Rouge River home. It is also an important environmental indicator. Its absence or presence in the river helps researchers understand current water quality. Most importantly, if stonefly larvae are found, it’s a good thing. Their presence indicates that the river contains clean, well-oxygenated water — all signs of a healthy river.

The annual stonefly survey couldn’t be done without the help of volunteers. According to Friends of the Rouge’s Sally Petrella, “We have a lot of people that really care about the river and want to do whatever that they can to help.”

Join us and a group of passionate Citizen Scientists as we brave the cold and search for stoneflies at a headwater stream in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

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Featured image: Sally Petrella of Friends of the Rouge collects samples from headwaters of the Rouge River to look for stonefly larva. (Photo Credit: GLN) 


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