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Posts Tagged ‘wetlands’

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Development in League City threatens wetlands

Hurricane Harvey was tough on wetlands, and even tougher on wetland scientists like me. I have spent a career focusing on wetlands along the Upper Texas Gulf Coast. Like the Lorax, I speak for the wetlands (and the prairies and forests and all the rest of it!). I have devoted considerable energy to expounding all of the virtues of wetlands, including their ability to decrease downstream flooding. So much so that at least one top flood official accused me believing in “magic wetlands”. He didn’t think wetlands did all that much in terms of stormwater detention (or anything else apparently).

As with many other aspects of our lives, Harvey changed everything. It modified my views on upstream wetlands and flood control. Harvey totally overwhelmed every single prairie-pothole wetland on the Katy Prairie, and on every other prairie in our area for that matter. All of these wetlands filled with water very quickly very early in the storm and all of the soils in or out of the wetlands became saturated very early as well, such that virtually all the rain falling anywhere, even on the sandiest of soils, ran off the landscape and into our creeks and bayous. And then the water in the bayous rose and the rest is burned into our memories. (more…)

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Now that the trees have been planted and the growing season is revving up, it’s the best time to plant wetland plants along the shores of the new lake section. The public is invited to wade in and plant on four Saturdays, April 15 and 29, and May 13 and 27, from 9am to 12pm. Native species will be planted in the shallow margins, providing habitat to water birds, and natural cleansing of stormwater runoff. Wear shoes and clothes that can get muddy, sun protection, and bring a water bottle. All tools and instruction will be provided. Children 12 and up are welcome with their families.

Exploration Green is in Clear Lake City, in the Bay Area. Park along the street and enter the park at 1800 Reseda. See you there!

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Workshop flyer-final

Our bayous and bays are greatly impacted by the quality of the stormwater flowing into them, and now is a great time to start improving it with practices we can implement at home, work, or beyond.

Join us in a beautiful setting–the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory’s new LEED-certified building in Lake Jackson, TX.

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Creating a wetland from what looks like a construction site has been a lot of fun. We began with the planting of water lilies, and there were some full-body immersions as we planted in 3’-4’ feet of cool groundwater on a hot day.

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Danny indicates the depth where he is planting water lilies. Photo: Jerry Hamby

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Community members plant the wetland area on June 25. Photo: Jerry Hamby

We passed a major milestone and it was composed of water, mud, plants and volunteers. After years of community meetings, planning, hydrology studies, waiting on permits, excavating, and raising plants, the first portion of the first lake at Exploration Green is ready for a stormwater wetland.

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