Spring 2017 on Buffalo Bayou

Never the Same River Twice

March 18, 2017

Out on Buffalo Bayou early this morning, Saturday, March 18, 2017, with photographer Jim Olive. We were looking for our Spring 2017 shot of the same bend of the bayou we have been documenting for the last three years throughout the seasons. Flow was low base flow, about 150 cubic feet per second. Birds singing. Frogs burping. Squirrels quarreling. Warmth wafting off the water. Was foggier than Jim had hoped, and he had to be patient, as always, for just the right shot. We’d been waiting for a clear morning for days.

For the entire series see A Bend in the River under Photos and Films. This scene is in the historic nature area targeted for destruction and “restoration” by the Harris County Flood Control District, the Memorial Park Conservancy, and the Bayou Preservation Association.

An update on that costly, misguided project, which sadly still threatens, is coming up next.

Morning on Buffalo Bayou, March 18, 2017, shot by Jim Olive from a high bank in Memorial Park looking downstream with River Oaks Country Club property on the right.

2 thoughts on “Spring 2017 on Buffalo Bayou”

  1. John says:

    What do you have to say now? A big flood control project would have saved thousands of homes including mine

    1. Thank you for your comment, John. Our condolences for the flood damage to your home.

      What “big flood control project” do you imagine would have saved your house from the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey? How would the specific project we oppose in and around Memorial Park have protected your house or any houses from flooding?

      Urban flooding is primarily caused by too much rainwater running too fast over the impermeable surfaces and through the concrete drains of our paved and built city. Too much rainwater collecting too fast rapidly swells our bayous and streams. Then our drainage systems
      stop, back up into our streets and homes, because there’s too much water in our bayous and streams.

      We will never be able to keep up with the increasing runoff from increasing rains over more and more impermeable surface by destroying our streams, repeatedly trying to make them bigger and wider, ripping out trees and vegetation. Among other things we need those trees and vegetation to cleanse the water, cleanse the polluted rain running over our concrete city.

      Enlightened policy around the world is to focus on slowing down, spreading out and absorbing stormwater before it enters our streams and concrete drainage systems.

      That means more trees and vegetation, not less. More green space. More native plant gardens. More wetlands and open ground with tall grasses and trees with leaves and roots that can absorb rainwater and send it into the ground instead of over it to run into your house and others.

      Please read Floodplain Management, A New Approach for A New Era, to learn more about this. Perhaps it will change your mind. And maybe you will join us in the effort to change current flood management and drainage polices and practices in the Houston region.

      In the meantime, here is a thoughtful recent article for you to read about Houston:

      Houston’s Flood is a Design Problem

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