HOUSTON WILDERNESS is a broad-based alliance of business, environmental and government interests that acts in concert to protect, preserve and promote the unique biodiversity of the region’s precious remaining ecological capital from bottomland hardwoods and prairie grasslands to pine forests and wetlands.
This mission is accomplished through Convening various groups to promote protect and preserve the biodiversity in our 10 ecoregions; providing collaborative Problem-Solving opportunities on critical environmental issues; and Educating the public on the many exciting outdoor opportunities in the Greater Houston Region and the health benefits associated with nature. These ecoregion landscapes decrease repetitive flooding, improve water quality, boost outdoor recreation, ecotourism, and economic growth.
The Problem: The greater Houston-Galveston Gulf Coast region provides numerous acres of pristine and diverse ecologic habitats, but these intact ecological areas are becoming increasingly threatened and fractured due to land and water development, expansion of the region, and built infrastructure to accommodate the growth of the region. The result has been a reduction in forests and wetlands of 40 percent currently. Houston Wilderness aims to (1) preserve and protect these best remaining habitats, (2) improve water quality and quality of life, and (3) ensure economic health and vitality for future generations in the greater Houston Region and Galveston Bay watershed. To do so, we work with a regional collaborative of environmental, governmental and business groups in the Greater Houston Region to achieve the following goals:
- Preserving and protecting the ecology and economic values of land/water ecosystems and habitats.
- Creating a regional vision and plan for multiple land and watershed conservation and restoration efforts.
- Enhancing economic development and recreational opportunities through green infrastructure in the watersheds leading to Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico within the 13-county region.
Economic Impacts for the Region, the Nation and the World: The Greater Houston Region’s 10 ecoregions contain a plethora of biodiversity – more than any other major city in the U.S.. These ecoregions contain a plethora of ecosystem services that act as a buffer for the Port of Houston (the second largest port in the U.S.), responsible for moving the nation’s goods in the U.S. and across the world and for the largest concentration of major energy companies in the world.
Ecological Impacts for the Region:
- Conservation, by protecting and preserving existing ecologically significant areas
- Recreation, by providing enhanced natural areas and access potential
- Flood Protection, by promoting higher standards for flood & surge protection that incorporate non-structural solutions
- Water/Air Quality, by enhancing the capabilities of natural areas to absorb nutrients from runoff and criteria air pollutants
- Wildlife, by providing and conserving significant habitats and corridors
- Ecotourism, by providing birding sites, wildlife viewing areas, paddling inputs, nature trails etc.
- Ecodevelopment, by increasing awareness of green infrastructure benefits and providing opportunities to incorporate development with ecosystem and habitat conservation activities
The Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan (Gulf-Houston Plan) is a long-term collaborative of environmental, business and governmental entities working together to create a first-ever ecosystem continuity and connectivity plan for the Gulf-Houston Region. Click here to access up-to-date information on this important plan.
Photo credits: Banner, Preserve, Protect, Promote, Marc Reid,