Watershed Plan

Protecting Houston's wildlife: A priceless Bayou nature gem looks to its neighbors for help

Protecting Houston wildlife: A priceless Bayou looks to its neighbors

Armand Bayou Nature Center kayaking
The Armand Bayou Watershed Partnership aims to make the area a great place to live, work and play.  Courtesy of Armand Bayou Nature Center/Facebook

A bayou's water quality is only as good as the community that surrounds it, but many residents who live on the approximately 60 square miles that make up the Armand Bayou Watershed — which includes parts of Houston, Pasadena, La Porte, Deer Park and Taylor Lake Village — may not even be aware. 

The Armand Bayou Watershed Partnership aims to change that by informing residents of how actions affect the body of water and helping outdoor enthusiasts gain access to the hidden gem's amenities, which range from hiking and biking to bird watching and boating — and not just at the Armand Bayou Nature Center, one of the nation's largest preserves. 

Although the organization has existed in an informal capacity since 1998, members of the Armand Bayou Watershed Partnership have more recently started pushing a number of initiatives since receiving official 501(c)(3) status late last year, interim coordinator Linda Shead tells CultureMap. 

One priority is updating the condition of water quality as outlined in the Armand Bayou Watershed Plan, which was first published in 2006. Another is improving that water quality and restoring and protecting wildlife habitats. 

Perhaps most important is its public outreach effort, which will take the form of best practices sessions (a regionally-focused workshop on golf course management will explain how pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers affect the area's wildlife) and general informational meetings that will help increase membership and interest. 

The Armand Bayou Watershed Partnership will host one such meeting on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Bay Area Community Center in Clear Lake Park, at 5001 NASA Parkway in Seabrook. Area author Natalie Wiest will present and sign her book, Canoeing and Kayaking in Houston Waterways.