Hurricane Harvey has hit the Greater Houston area, and the Galveston Bay Watershed, hard. As the waters recede, thousands of people remain evacuated, homes are left destroyed, and at least 50 lives were lost. All this destruction due to the “new normal” – more frequent historic flooding in coastal Texas.
We are working to assess the damage the record-breaking storm has brought to the Lower Galveston Bay watershed, supporting local communities, as well as developing a long-term clean-up and water-monitoring plan. Those of us who live in the coastal prairie must recognize that the choices we make today will have major impacts on future generations. We must prepare and plan for this new reality. And while we can’t reverse what happened to residents and communities across greater Houston, we can demand that it doesn’t happen again.
You may have noticed that we’ve gone through our own change. Formerly known as Galveston Baykeeper, the organization has been undergoing the process of changing our name for the last year to better reflect the work we do across the Lower Galveston Bay watershed. With approval by our Board of Directors in April 2017, we chose the name Bayou City Waterkeeper to demonstrate our connection and dedication to the health of bayous and waterways that connect with Galveston Bay. Additionally, we have hired a new Executive Director and Waterkeeper - Jordan Macha. A Houston native, Jordan comes to us by way of Louisiana having worked with Gulf Restoration Network and the Sierra Club on restoration issues across the Gulf Coast. We are excited to have her join Bruce Bodson, our lead scientist, as we continue to protect our communities through watershed advocacy and education.
In closing, Houston is a can-do city, and we can build a more resilient community. In the coming weeks and months, Bayou City Waterkeeper is committed to working with our supporters and allies to address the significant issues within our region that Harvey laid bare. Please follow our facebook page for our latest news and updates on Harvey, as well as our blog. We appreciate your ongoing support.
Photo Credit: National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West