Regarding Permit Application No. SWG-2012-01007: We respectfully request that the Army Corps of Engineers deny a permit to the Harris County Flood Control District, which proposes to destroy nearly 1.5 miles of riparian forest and wildlife habitat and one of our last remaining links to nature in the middle of Houston. The federal Clean Water Act requires a least damaging solution to the erosion problems alleged by the H.C.F.C.D. A less damaging solution would be to target only those specific areas in urgent need of stabilization with plantings and methods that work in harmony with the bayou ecosystem. We Request that the ACE conduct an Environmental Impact Statement and hold a public hearing on the plan
Why is this important?
Harris County's expensive and invasive plan removes 80 percent of the vegetation from the banks of Buffalo Bayou in an area as wide as 100 feet from the water's edge in places. It will artificially channelize and change the course of the bayou, damage two dozen critical wetlands and kill hundreds of trees, some of them more than 100 years old, on both banks of the bayou, in Memorial Park and in the Hogg Bird Sanctuary. Many of us have long enjoyed the shady beauty and mystery of the forest using the hiking and biking trails in Memorial Park, which is already losing more than half its trees to the drought. Our serene, slow-moving, distinctly southern Buffalo Bayou is also a Texas Parks and Wildlife paddling trail, and if this "demonstration" plan is implemented, eventually there will be no more bayou wilderness to enjoy. A riparian forest cannot be replaced. The wild banks will be stripped, excavated, graded, landscaped, and planted with Bermuda grass. Harris County has already identified other parts of Buffalo Bayou where it plans to use this destructive and controversial bank "stabilization" method. We need to stop them now. The deadline for comments is June 30. Please add your own personal comments about what bayou means to you with your signature.