Yes, We Accept Donations. Thank you!


Nov. 30, 2019

So this is the thanks and the giving season, and everyone is asking for money. We almost never ask for money. But now we are.

Save Buffalo Bayou is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization supported by tax-deductible donations. We have a small budget and a large impact. We have almost 8,000 followers on Facebook and a mailing list of 1,600, including public officials and the media.

Please donate and help us continue our work. We need your support. (Fast and easy route: use the Paypal donate button up there on the right corner of the page.)

What We Do

Most of what we do is journalism. And there is no other voice like ours. We speak out. We advocate. We explain. We educate. We listen. We investigate. We report. We take positions that others cannot or will not take. Not everyone loves us.

We advocate for Buffalo Bayou, Houston’s ancient central river, and its many tributary streams and creeks, for nature and the natural landscape, so important in a city like Houston. We explain how streams work, how banks collapse, why trees are important, how the banks naturally rebuild and restore themselves. We do this because it benefits us, the people, the taxpayers.

We advocate for modern flood management, based on nature, because nature is the best engineer. Nature-based flood management works best and costs less. And it’s healthier for us too.

We believe in slowing the flow, rather than speeding it up. Yes, that sounds counter-intuitive, but draining more stormwater faster only causes more flooding, though engineering companies love it. Our motto is slow it down, spread it out, soak it in. We need to take more individual responsibility for that. Stop stormwaters before they flood the stream. And get out of the way.

It’s what the rest of the world is doing. But here they tell us rain gardens and prairies are useless because our clay soil is practically as hard as concrete anyway. Is that true? Stay tuned and find out.

More than ever our streams, prairies, and urban forests are threatened by development and by costly, large-scale engineering projects proposed by politicians pressured by the public to do something, anything, to protect us from flooding.

We want to make sure they do the right thing. Dredging, deepening, and widening our bayous, for instance, might seem like the right thing. But doing that only creates more costly problems.

So please donate. Use a credit card or write us a check. Send a dollar in the mail. Every penny counts.

Watch this slideshow of photographs, mostly by Jim Olive, documenting the same bend in the bayou throughout the seasons for the last five years.

  • That Bend in the River on April 15, 2018. Springtime all over the place. Photo by SC
  • A trackhoe on a barge stuck in the sandy channel bottom of Buffalo Bayou at that bend below the high bank in Memorial Park. Maintenance contractor with flood control was removing fallen trees from the banks and channel. Photo by SC May 19, 2018
  • Summer sunrise on Buffalo Bayou. That bend in the bayou on July 1, 2018, with flow at about 280 cubic feet per second. Photo by Jim Olive, of course.
  • Fall 2018 on that Bend in the River. Water was high and the morning was cloudy just after sunrise. Photo by Jim Olive on Nov. 6, 2018.
  • We were late with our winter shot, and this February morning was gloomy, the trees and banks bare. Flow was very low, about 150 cfs. The bend appeared to have been widened by the damaging dredging done by maintenance contractors working to remove woody debris, some of which should have been left on the banks for stability and sediment control. Photo Feb. 14, 2019, by Jim Olive
  • Spring again! That bend in the bayou, early in the morning of April 26, 2019. Jim Olive was back in town to continue our series documenting this same spot through time. Photo by Jim.
  • Summertime 2019 on that bend in the river with some of the destruction of the south bank visible in the distance. Pile of dirt is part of the River Oaks Country Club's costly and excessively damaging bank project. Photo by Jim on July 8, 2019, from that same high bank in Memorial Park.
  • That Bend in the River on a cool fall day--at last! Tractor is sitting on a pile of dirt dug out of the bank by the River Oaks Country Club for its very discouraging and deeply destructive "bank repair" project upstream and downstream. Photo by Jim on Oct. 12, 2019
  • Jim Olive's Winter 2019-20 photo of that bend in the bayou with continuing destruction activity on the bank opposite. Photo Dec. 19, 2019
  • Since Jim Olive was on a general coronavirus lockdown in California, Susan took this Spring 2020 photo around 3 p.m. on March 23. Flow was high, about 900 cubic feet per second. We're hoping JO will be back soon to take a better one.


Some Things We’ve Done Lately

This year we brought you multiple hard-hitting reports on the destruction of public forest on the upper bayou in Terry Hershey Park. We sought to persuade and prevent, publicly and privately, a hugely damaging and largely unnecessary bank “repair” project opposite Memorial Park and the Hogg Bird Sanctuary, and pointed out the irregularities in the permit process.

We continued our ongoing photography series documenting the changes in the bayou throughout the seasons. (See above.) We published articles on flood tunnels and rewilding our urban landscape, on bugs, birds, and bats; and reminded people about public meetings on flooding (and reported on them too) and about public comment periods for flood-related projects and studies.

We published an editorial in the Chronicle in favor of protecting the trees and natural landscape in Memorial Park, another on why the banks keep collapsing in Buffalo Bayou Park, and alerted the public to plans to remove a lot of trees and alter wetlands and streams in Memorial Park. We publicized reports that showed new development in west Houston was increasing flooding and a third reservoir in northwest Harris County wasn’t going to stop flooding.

We were quoted about flooding and green, nature-based solutions numerous times in local and national publications.

And that’s just a short list.

So please donate now. It’s for all of us.

Thank you.


Susan Chadwick

President and Executive Director

p.s. Be sure to check out our YouTube page for videos of beavers, coral snakes, and other critters on Buffalo Bayou.

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