Why You Should Donate to Save Buffalo Bayou

Nov. 30, 2021

Since everyone else is asking on Giving Tuesday, most likely you have already given. Maybe you’re annoyed. Maybe you already purchased a photograph or artwork at our recent benefit, Buffalo Bayou: River of Life. (If you’d still like to buy something, we’ll be posting remaining photos and art online for purchase. Stay tuned.)

Maybe you’re feeling the pressure, pressing some Donate buttons. Maybe you’ll decide to give to Save Buffalo Bayou now too.

Here are some reasons why:

Environmental Advocacy in the City

Nobody else is doing what we do. We are a small organization with a big punch. Environmental advocates doing journalism, investigating, listening, researching, explaining, asking hard questions about how we manage nature in the city.

Important questions like: Is the Harris County Flood Control District doing a good job? How do we know? Who’s monitoring the performance of the flood control district? Note that the district was founded in the 1930s when “controlling” flooding meant stripping trees, straightening streams, and covering them in concrete. Move as much stormwater as fast as possible.

That approach has long been discredited. Not only is it environmentally damaging, it also increases flooding! But the flood control district is still doing it, destroying our last remaining winding, wooded streams, wiping out forests, even though they are legally obligated to conserve our forests. (See page 1.)

Why? Because somebody makes money scraping and bulldozing and installing sheet pile and concrete rubble. Paid with public funds. And then paid to fix it when it fails.

Buffalo Bayou in Buffalo Bayou Park upstream (west) of downtown Houston before scraping by the Harris County Flood Control District. Photo by George O. Jackson in 2014.

Flood Committees

After Harvey, numerous committees and public officials are busy making plans to manage flood risk. Save Buffalo Bayou attends these meetings on your behalf, making comments, taking notes. (It’s a virtual world!)

Buffalo Bayou is the main artery of our natural drainage system in Houston. Yes, many people think it’s an artificial drainage ditch. But it’s a living river, filled with wildlife.

Big Drainage Pipes That Block Drainage

Stormwater outfall recently installed at right angle to bank, blocking flow in Buffalo Bayou, in violation of City, County, and federal regulations. Photo from north bank on Memorial Drive upstream of the Shepherd Bridge, Nov. 16, 2021, by SC

And here’s another report we’re working on: why does the City of Houston continue to install massive stormwater drainage pipes that violate their own regulations and block the flow of Buffalo Bayou (and other streams)? Do we not have a flooding problem?

We’ve written about this before. But questions remain unanswered. And we have one about this new project: just recently the City installed a massive new drainage pipe on the north bank of Buffalo Bayou just upstream of the Shepherd Bridge. It sticks straight out, shooting stormwater directly across the flow of the bayou and onto the opposite bank. This blocks the flow, acting like a dam, and pummeling the opposite bank. It’s a violation of the City’s own regulations. Violates flood control district guidelines too, as well as requirements of the Corps of Engineers.

How does this happen? Answers coming up.

But we need your help. Every donation helps, no matter how small.

Save Buffalo Bayou is a 501c3 nonprofit.

Please Donate Now.

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