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Archive for the ‘stormwater’ Category

Harris County Floodplain Development

Map showing development in the Harris County Floodplains. Click here for a full size copy

“No amount of prevention could have prevented this kind of flooding.” “Houston did not do this to itself.” “There is no city, however it is governed, that could handle a Harvey.” 

The preceding are just a small sample of recent comments from prominent local leaders about Harvey, generally accompanied by statements implying another Harvey is not likely, and that just a little more of the same in the way of previous flood control is all we need.

If we cannot imagine another way to live with floods, then we had better hope that the last three years are a total anomaly and that we will not soon see another storm like Harvey.  On the other hand, if we think that Harvey would make a better benchmark for planning than the FEMA-defined 100-year floodplain, as some of our best minds do, then we need to radically reimagine how we coexist with big floods. (more…)

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Rainwater harvesting is an alternate water supply and stormwater management approach anyone can use. Rainwater harvesting captures, diverts, and stores rainwater for later use. You can collect rainwater in a large cistern, tank or barrel.

Implementing rainwater harvesting is beneficial because it reduces demand on existing water supply, and reduces run-off, erosion, and contamination of surface water. Rainwater harvesting can reduce the amount of drinking water used for landscape irrigation. (more…)

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Two of the many stormwater wetland program events in September and October involved our partners at Clear Creek ISD and the University of Houston Clear Lake’s EIH. I can tell you a little about each one, but photos say it best! Check them out at the Flickr links below.

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Replanting the Floating Wetlands

To make up for the damage caused by the nutria invasion last year, we replanted the floating wetlands as an experiment to see which species nutria would avoid. We also planted test plots of these species along the shore, including some species we know they do eat, as experimental controls. Sixty nine students and community members came out to work on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, October 12.

See all the photos and upload your own to the Flickr photo pool.

 

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Habitat Garden Day at Ed White Elementary

Much pruning, planting and raking was done to spruce up the garden after a long summer, and best of all for the stormwater wetland program,  plants were collected from the overgrown ponds. The plants are being propagated in the wetland nursery at Exploration Green, and can be reused on school and community wetland projects.

See all the photos and upload your own to the Flickr photo pool.

Thanks to all who showed up to help and made these events fun!

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Smiles from Jerry Dollinger of the Gulf Coast chapter, Chris Kneupper of the Cradle of Texas chapter, and Ray Rottman and Nancy Saint of the Galveston Bay Area chapter of Texas Master Naturalists light up a cloudy summer day.

The wetland plant nursery at Exploration Green conservation area is up and running! We held our first volunteer morning on Thursday, September 4, with the able assistance of the Texas Master Naturalists. We loved the cooler overcast weather, even if it meant waiting out a 20 minute tropical downpour. About a hundred sprigs each of Maidencane (Panicum hemitomon)and Marsh hay cordgrass (Spartina patens) were potted up and added to the nursery ponds you can see in the background here.

The nursery will provide plants for the stormwater-cleansing wetlands planned for Exploration Green. These stormwater wetlands will be a model for naturally managing water pollution in our region.
Thursday mornings in the nursery will be a regular event and will be open to all interested volunteers in October. Contact Mary Carol Edwards for more information.

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We’ve written much about how stormwater washes minute pollutants like bacteria, sediment, and compounds into the waterways. Now here’s something exciting that works on the big junk, too.

This ingenious example in Baltimore uses the power of the water itself…and the brainpower of a concerned citizen. Enjoy and be inspired.

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Source: NPR

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