New Aerial Photos of Buffalo Bayou!

Float In The Air Down Buffalo Bayou With Houston Photographer Jim Olive

October 17, 2015

Travel down the remarkable historic stretch of our 18,000-year-old bayou proposed for “restoration” by the Harris County Flood Control District and the City of Houston. The $6 million project, violating virtually every Best Management Practice for riparian areas, would pointlessly destroy and rebuild over 1.25 miles of a naturally-functioning bayou as it flows past Memorial Park and the Hogg Bird Sanctuary on the north and the River Oaks Country Club on the south.

Photos taken on October 2, 2015. Thank you, Jim Olive!

  • This massive new drainage outfall on Buffalo Bayou at Woodway, soon to be once-again a public boat launch, is not in the project area targeted for "restoration" by the proposed $6 million Harris County Flood Control project. But this formerly forested area in Memorial Park, destroyed for a $1.3 million City "erosion control" project, is for many the beginning of a float trip through the threatened historic natural area in the park. Photo by Jim Olive, Oct. 2, 2015
  • The same drainage outfall/boat launch in Memorial Park at Woodway one year later after an "accidental" mowing of riparian plants by a Memorial Park maintenance crew and now, apparently, bulldozing of what remained for some reason. Photo by Jim Olive on Sept. 29, 2016
  • Concrete riprap placed by the River Oaks Country Club in August 2015 on a terrace below the high bank and adjacent to a wetland at the beginning of the proposed $6 million Harris County Flood Control project. The young box elder and other vegetation naturally planted there by the bayou were destroyed by soil-damaging heavy equipment. The mowed golf course extending to the edge of the high bank and the concrete path for motorized golf carts likely contributed to erosion of the high bank. Memorial Park on the left. Photo by Jim Olive, Oct. 2, 2015
  • Another view of the environmentally-damaging riprap recently placed by the River Oaks Country Club on the south bank at the upstream limit of the proposed project area. Sandy beach of Memorial Park on the left. Photo by Jim Olive, Oct. 2, 2015
  • Aerial view of a lovely meander in Memorial Park showing very old high bluffs on the right. The meander would be filled and the high bluffs leveled by the proposed Memorial Park Demonstration Project. Jim Olive photo, Oct. 2, 2015
  • Another view of the meander with its charming sandy beaches and magnificent high cliffs as we move downstream through this remarkable historic nature area in the middle of Houston targeted for destruction. River Oaks Country Club property on the left. Photo by Jim Olive on Oct. 2, 2015
  • The same meander nearly a year later on Sept. 29, 2016. Photo by Jim Olive
  • Brush on the banks taken down by the Memorial Day 2015 Flood is collecting sediment and naturally rebuilding the banks. The project proposed by Flood Control mimics this natural bank stabilizing process but would pointlessly spend millions of public dollars to destroy the superior work of nature and replace it with costly engineering likely to fail. Memorial Park on the left, River Oaks Country Club on the right. Jim Olive photo Oct. 2, 2015.
  • Sandy forested banks of the River Oaks Country Club on the right. Sandy beach on the left owned by the Harris County Flood Control District, though the property behind is privately owned. Photo by Jim Olive Oct. 2, 2015.
  • Kayakers on Buffalo Bayou in the area targeted for destruction on Sept. 29, 2016. Photo by Jim Olive
  • Kayakers on Buffalo Bayou on Sept. 29, 2016. Photo by Jim Olive.
  • Riprap installed by the River Oaks Country Club on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou in August 2015. Photo by Jim Olive on Oct. 2, 2015.
  • Aerial view of a wetland and the riprap placed on a denuded bank, once forested, by the River Oaks Country Club in August 2015. Sandy beach on the left owned by the people of Houston (as part of the Hogg Bird Sanctuary), with the point owned by Harris County Flood Control . Photo by Jim Olive on Oct. 2, 2015
  • Aerial view of the same riprap one year later on Sept. 29, 2016, showing additional riprap installed at the downstream end. Photo by Jim Olive
  • Wider view of the meander showing south bank armored by riprap in 2015 and 2016 and sandy point on north side owned by the Harris County Flood Control District in front of private residences. Photo by Jim Olive on Sept. 29, 2016
  • Aerial view of the tributary and high banks of the Hogg Bird Sanctuary on the north, a public park, and the River Oaks Country Club golf course on the south near the downstream limit of the area targeted for dredging, grading, and filling by the Harris County Flood Control District. The high bank in the sanctuary slumped during the spring high waters, but the brush lying there is collecting sediment and naturally rebuilding the bank. Photo by Jim Olive on Oct. 2, 2015

5 thoughts on “New Aerial Photos of Buffalo Bayou!”

  1. Polly Lohr says:

    It is a damn shame when a golf course trumps a natural habitat of thousands of years. Money talks and nature walks….away. It is a pathetic legacy to leave your children when you leave a nice long fairway over natural habitat for a red fox or bobcat. Repugnant.

    1. Richard says:

      Amen to that.

  2. Holly says:

    We have MANY Golf Courses in Houston. Must we destroy nature just to save a Country Club’s Golf Course? I’ve lived in Houston my entire life, 59 years, & I find this proposed action reprehensible!!

  3. Caroline says:

    The home across the bayou that has damned up the bayou by building tiered retaining walls going down all the way into the bayou and are now installing steel beams to make a wall. This has changed the direction of the bayou, the property we have has flooded like never before. The force of the water is unbelievable and has torn out much of the vegetation. We are on the south side of the bayou right before Shepard. Does anyone know anyone who we could reach out to? I attempted to contact the city but they don’t really seem to care.
    Thank you

    1. We’ve been concerned about that project. We’ll look into it.

Leave a Reply to Richard Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *