Who We Are

This meander in the middle of the stretch targeted for destruction by the flood control district is a natural detention area. Situated at the eastern edge of Memorial Park, it will be filled and a new bayou channel dug across the point on the south (left) bank. The high cliffs in the bottom of the photo will be leveled, and the entire area graded and planted with turf grass. An access road for heavy equipment will be bulldozed through the public forest of the park on the right. Photo by Jim Olive on April 7, 2017

We are an informal group of individuals who care deeply about Buffalo Bayou as well as the rest of our local rivers, streams, creeks, prairies, forest, and bays. We are ordinary people of all ages opposed to bad government projects and waste of taxpayer money. We are conservative and liberal and everything else. Some of us are writers, scientists, geologists, lawyers, bankers, artists, environmentalists, conservationists, nurses, teachers, filmmakers, clerks, photographers, historians, architects, and a wide variety of other things. Our advisors include some of the world’s leading river and floodplain experts.

Save Buffalo Bayou is a 501c3 nonprofit association. Donations to Save Buffalo Bayou are tax deductible.

Board of Directors

The trustees are Blaine Adams, Susan Chadwick, Olive Hershey, Richard P. Keeton, and Frank C. Smith Jr.

Frank C. Smith Jr, a retired electrical engineer, is the founding president of the board of Save Buffalo Bayou. He is a founding member, board member, and past president of the Bayou Preservation Association and served on its executive committee for nearly fifty years. He is a founder of the Galveston Bay Foundation and serves on its advisory council. He is also a founder and past president of the Armand Bayou Nature Center, a lifetime board member of the Memorial Park Conservancy, past president of the Texas Nature Conservancy, and past president of the Rice Design Alliance, among other activities. He has lived on Buffalo Bayou throughout his adult life.

Blaine Adams, treasurer of the Save Buffalo Bayou board, is an investment manager in Houston and trustee with Prometheus Charitable Trust. She has served on the board of the Memorial Park Conservancy and lives on Buffalo Bayou.

Susan Chadwick, a writer and journalist who grew up on Buffalo Bayou, is the executive director of Save Buffalo Bayou. She was the art critic for the Houston Post from 1985 until it closed in 1995.

Olive Hershey, secretary of the board, is a poet, novelist, and environmentalist and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, of the advisory board of Inprint, and of the board of the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation. She was a board member and officer of the Sierra Blanca Legal Defense Fund and a board member of Friends of Hermann Park.

Board member Richard P. Keeton is a prominent Houston trial lawyer currently of counsel to the international law firm McGuireWoods. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and the UT Law School and has been included in The Best Lawyers in America since 1983.

Advisory Board

William Heins, PhD, geologist, Fulbright Scholar

Tom Helm, geologist, geoscience consultant, naturalist, river guide

John Jacob, soils scientist, director Texas Coastal Watershed Program, board chair of Galveston Baykeeper

Mathias Kondolf, PhD, geologist, earth scientist, environmental engineer, professor of landscape architecture and environmental planning, director of RiverLab, University of California, Berkeley

Jim Olive, photographer, environmentalist, naturalist, Eagle Scout, founder and executive director of the Christmas Bay Foundation

Honorary Advisor

Rick Bass, author, novelist and short story writer, environmental activist, geologist


9 thoughts on “Who We Are”

  1. Bill Heins says:

    I am sitting on the beach at the Middle Meander, watching the afternoon solstice sun on the bluff. Crows and red tail hawks are skirmishing, an egret waits paitiently for a fish, an alligator gar grabs something and leaves an improbable wake. The City of Houston is far away from my spirit, even if my body is sitting right in the middle of it. It does my soul good to sit here and watch the bayou slide by.

    It also makes me sad that this would be the biggest cut and fill of the so-called Memorial Park Demonstration Project. An area with an Astrodomal footprint would be clearcut, the lazy hairpin that has been wiggling around for millennia would be bulldozed into a precise sine wave, and the astonishing topographic exclamation of the bluff would be laid back and buried under a flaccid shroud of Caterpillar poop.

    I am confident that the bayou would put everything back in its proper place eventually, but it would be ugly in the meantime.

    This is why I stand with Save Buffalo Bayou against all wrongheaded efforts to bludgeon the bayou into unnatural submission.
    Photo of the middle meander of Buffalo Bayou in Memorial Park by Bill Heins on Sept. 22, 2016.

    1. Thank you, Bill Heins, for this poetic observation. You are an essential part of the Buffalo Bayou defense team.

    2. Arthur Neelley says:

      Thanks Bill for your very beautiful and insightful comments and observations. Wish everyone could get over to that area and experience the majesty before the misguided ones in charge destroy it during our lifetimes !

  2. Dave Baldwin says:

    Ms. Chadwick, I have been wanting to contact you regarding your comments on the Michael Bloom articles on Boom Town Flood Town.I have been saying to myself and anyone that will listen the almost same points that you have been making on flooding. I have not been able to find an email address for you to request getting on the distribution list of your flooding articles and comments. I’m in the Cypress Creek watershed, was recently elected to the BOD of the Cypress Creek Flood Control Coalition, and do volunteer work as I can to try and educate the public. I am a retired Engineer and an old dude so I don’t get around that much and frequently miss some of the good articles you publish. Congratulations on being an out of the box thinker and someone whose opinion I have a lot of respect for.

    Best regards,
    Dave Baldwin

    1. Great to have you, Dave Baldwin! Thank you.

      There is a spot on our website down on the right side for you to enter your email address so that you can get updates. But I will now do that for you.

      Susan Chadwick, Executive Director

      1. p.s. Be sure to check your spam folder if you think you are not receiving our notices.

  3. Sharon Papadopoulos says:

    I would like to join your struggle to save our beautiful bayou. My son lives in a town home on the bayou on Crestwood Drive. Every night you can see hundreds of little rabbits and foxes– what will happen to the innocent wildlife if this area is destroyed not to mention the bluffs, trees and plants.

    If feel a big problem is most people have not seen this area so they may not realize its importance and beauty. Why not take a video tour in the early morning, mid day and evening to show its beauty. And also show the wildlife at night. You need publicity to make our citizens aware before it is too late!

    I live near Braes Bayou–there are fish and birds but no other wildlife!

    Please call me at xxxxxxx. When is the next meeting? Have you thought to have a petition or even a law suit to stop the destruction. This could be deemed a protected national park or preserve. Have you reached out to other environmental organizations to help save this area?

    Sharon Papadopoulos

    1. Thank you, Sharon.

      Yes, we need your help. This is a struggle that has been going on for nearly five years, starting when members of the Houston Sierra Club first found out about the project, initiated privately by the Bayou Preservation Association and the River Oaks Country Club. The Sierra Club forced the Harris County Flood Control District to seek a permit from the Corps of Engineers that would require them to inform the public about it and have public meetings. You can learn more about the history under The Plain Facts and What to Do Now. Since then we have had meetings and a petition with over 3,000 signatures, and two rounds of public comments to the Corps. More than 300 people, including many experts, wrote in opposing or criticizing the project. That was nearly two years ago. The Corps just now issued a permit, essentially an exception to the Clean Water Act, and only a few days ago released the required Environmental Assessment. We are still reviewing the clearly inadequate Environmental Assessment. This project is in an area designated a State Antiquities Landmark. (See recent post.)

      Yes, we will have a general meeting soon. In the meantime it is very important that you contact Precinct 4 County Commissioner Jack Cagle. He’s in charge of this area. Also call or write Mayor Sylvester Turner and your city council representative and tell them you don’t want any more tax money spent on this project to destroy a precious public asset. Tell all your neighbors and friends and download a flyer from our website under What To Do Now.

      We are hoping we won’t have to go to court, but we are preparing to do that if necessary. So please consider donating. We need your financial help. There’s a Donate button on the side of the page.


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