Sam Houston Greenbelt Network
The Sam Houston Greenbelt Network is a connection of watersheds and open spaces at the region’s core which are most affected by explosive population and development growth that creates a vision of opportunities to preserve, promote, and protect the 10 diverse ecoregions. The Sam Houston Greenbelt Network provides regional green space planning assistance, promotional opportunities, technical support, and convenes a variety of meetings with entities who operate parks, acquire land, build trails, and support green infrastructure development in the Sam Houston Greenbelt Network area.
Lower Trinity River Project (LTRP)
The five counties in the Lower Trinity River area (Chambers, Liberty, Polk, San Jacinto, and Trinity) have vast ecotourism opportunities that aren’t widely known. The Lower Trinity River Project partnership has been created and will not only highlight these opportunities for ecotourism, but also provide the 5-county area with the ability to prepare for the predicted population growth that will be coming to this region. There is predicted to be major population growth to the LTR area within the next decade. This project will provide a way to plan for the future growth and allow for the preservation of valuable green spaces before increased development occurs in the LTR region. Public education on river safety is also important for this region especially during heavy rain events and flooding. The LTRP plans to submit for various funding opportunities including RESTORE in 2016 to accomplish the goals of the project.
Houston’s 1st Annual Carp-a-thon and Invasive Fish Round-up
There are numerous invasive fish species in the Houston area waterways, including grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella) and armored catfish (Hypostomus plecostomus) that are both very harmful to aquatic ecosystems. The grass carp, for example, breeds quickly and consumes copious amounts of plant material. Armored catfish out compete native fish species and physically damage streambanks and shorelines. Invasive fish species are well established in the Trinity River-Galveston Bay waterways, including Brays Bayou. Their effect on wetland establishment and water quality is significant. While eradication of invasive fish species is not achievable, raising public awareness of the problem and promoting proper fishing practices is an important first step in managing the population. Houston’s 1st Annual Carpathon and Invasive Fish Round-up fishing tournament event will be held September 17, 2016 at Willow Waterhole and Brays watershed in conjunction with the Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy’s Harvest Moon Festival. The tournament is intended to increase public awareness about invasive fish species, educate on proper fishing practices, decrease the invasive fish population in Brays Bayou to the extent possible, and promote outdoor recreation at Willow Waterhole and in the Greater Houston Region. Partners include Texas Fly Fishers, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Harris County Flood Control District, Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Willow Waterhole Greenspace Conservancy, and many others.