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.
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.
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.
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.