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Action Needed to Protect Houston's Historic Waterway

posted Nov 13, 2020, 8:25 AM by Memorial Super Neighborhood
Passing along this announcement from Jessica McFall of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership

Buffalo Bayou Park and Other Green Spaces Will Be Severely Impacted by US Army Corps of Engineers Study Recommendations 


Photo by Dean Digamon 


The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has released the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report which proposes various projects aimed at reducing flooding along the Buffalo Bayou Watershed.  After strong community reaction, the Corps has extended the comment period to November 20, 2020. 

 

 

While BBP supports the USACE’s overall goal of relieving flooding, it has grave concerns as stated in a letter the organization sent to the Corps. 

 

 

CONCERNS:

  • Widening the channel to 230 ft. and deepening it by 12 ft. will make it impossible to retain natural features and riparian vegetation all along Buffalo Bayou and will devastate Buffalo Bayou Park, the beautiful 160-acre green space recently restored by BBP, Harris County Flood Control District, City of Houston and the Kinder Foundation with $75 million of improvements.  
  • Radically increasing the flow of water during floods will worsen damage in Buffalo Bayou Park.
  • Channel modifications and replacement of infrastructure will severely impact Buffalo Bayou’s extensive wildlife, including the more than 250,000 Mexican Free-tail Bats living near the Waugh Drive and Congress Avenue bridges.
  • Buffalo Bayou’s role as a recreational amenity and a unique visitor experience will be forever changed. 
  • USACE does not propose to enlarge the bayou in downtown where downtown parks, the City Hall and Harris County complexes, and Theater District all flooded during Harvey.
  • Finally, USACE’s own analysis shows that the project’s costs will be far greater than its benefits in reducing flooding. This means Buffalo Bayou will be devastated for a project that does not make economic sense.

 

If you care about protecting Buffalo Bayou Park and other green spaces that BBP has transformed, send your comments to the Corps TODAY(Note deadline: November 20, 2020)


For your convenience, feel free to copy the note below and send it to the Corps at BBTRS@usace.army.mil or click the button below. Personalize as needed.

We also encourage you to contact our Houston U.S. Congressional Representatives who oversee the USACE with districts along the affected parts of Buffalo Bayou: Lizzie FletcherDan Crenshaw and Sheila Jackson Lee.

 

 

 

TO:        US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
RE:         Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report

I am writing to express my concerns regarding the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Report.  Numerous recommendations in the report will cause considerable harm to Buffalo Bayou Park, the award-winning 160-acre green space near downtown.  I believe the study recommends outdated solutions rather than forward-thinking nature-based solutions.  Widening and deepening the channel will cause irreparable harm to the bayou’s natural features, as well as to the vast wildlife living along the waterway. 

I’d also like to point out that in addition to causing increased flooding in Buffalo Bayou Park, flooding will be exacerbated in parks and sites downstream, including the City Hall and Harris County complexes and Theater District; all of which experienced severe flooding during Hurricane Harvey.  This issue is not addressed in the Corp’s report.

I understand that the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is recommending a tunnel option which Buffalo Bayou Partnership supports.

I urge the Corps to adopt a natural channel design that will result in a healthy functioning riparian corridor.  By doing so, you will be protecting Buffalo Bayou so that Houstonians from all walks of life can enjoy its natural beauty, wildlife, and recreational and cultural offerings for generations to come.


...

Buffalo Bayou Partnership is the non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Buffalo Bayou, Houston's most significant natural resource


Our mailing address is:

Buffalo Bayou Partnership

1019 Commerce Street

Suite 200

Houston, TX 77002

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