Houston Chronicle Outlook Editorial: Plan Could Ruin Buffalo Bayou
Invasive Erosion Control Plan Could Destroy Buffalo Bayou
Memorial Park plan would reduce unique waterway to a ditch
Reprinted from The Houston Chronicle.
By Olive Hershey and Frank Salzhandler, Houston Chronicle OUTLOOK, May 18, 2014 Section B
A Harris County plan to alter Buffalo Bayou as it runs through our publicly owned Memorial Park would destroy one of the last remaining river forests in Houston, an ecologically important riparian wilderness that cannot be replaced.
The county intends to bulldoze both sides of the bayou – up to 100 feet from the water’s edge in places and including a tributary in the Hogg Bird Sanctuary – stripping wide swathes of native trees, vines and undergrowth from the bayou’s natural sandy banks.
Vital habitat for hundreds of species of birds, animals and water creatures will be lost. The slow-moving bayou’s shady banks will be denuded and replanted as a sun-baked lawn.
Killing A Riparian Forest – Our Last Urban Wilderness
May 7, 2014
This is a map from the Harris County Flood Control District describing the rare and native tree species that the county plans to cut down. The yellow lines represent the area in which the forest and banks of Buffalo Bayou will be bulldozed — areas widening to as much as 100 feet from the water’s edge.
We have only until June 30, 2014, to tell the Army Corps of Engineers not to allow the bulldozing of one of the last urban wildernesses in the United States. Virtually all the native habitat will be lost. Here’s how to contact the Army Corps of Engineers.
We urge Houstonians to oppose the current plan. Join us to learn more at a public meeting of concerned citizens on May 22, 2014, at St. Stephen’s Pecore Community Hall, 1805 W. Alabama, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
WHAT IS A RIPARIAN FOREST?
A riparian forest is a buffer area along a river or stream. Riparian forests along with native understory and wetlands are critical to storm water management—absorbing runoff. Riparian areas protect the quality and quantity of our water resources. They trap sediment and other pollutants from overland runoff before they have a chance to enter our streams and bayous. They also function to reduce the magnitude and velocity of floodwaters and help to maintain base flows in streams by slowly releasing floodwaters back into the stream channel. Riparian areas provide breeding and foraging habitat for wildlife and serve as corridors between critical habitat areas.
They sustain us and our connection with the wonder and beauty of nature.
This is their plan for Buffalo Bayou.
May 7, 2014
Tell the Army Corps of Engineers you oppose the proposal to bulldoze the natural ecosystem of our last urban wilderness. You have only until June 30 to tell the government it’s better to restore the native habitat than to destroy it.
Restore. Don’t destroy.
A riparian forest cannot be replaced.
Join us to learn more at a public meeting of concerned citizens on May 22 at St. Stephen’s Community Hall, 1805 W. Alabama, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Images of Buffalo Bayou Now.
And this is what they want Buffalo Bayou to look like when they are done scraping it bare, stripping the native habitat, and planting it with grass.