adaptability and being able to change course to maintain a pathway to sustainability.


FIGURE 4-1 Texas summertime rainfall and temperatures.
SOURCE: John Nielsen-Gammon, presentation, January 18, 2012.

Lisa Gonzalez, research scientist at the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC), highlighted some of the key habitats and ecosystem services in the Houston metropolitan region. Houston is often referred to as the “Bayou City” due to the number of bayous and waterways in the region, and those waterways serve as distributary channels for storm water, freshwater inflows for Galveston Bay, and conduits for transportation and international trade. Buffalo Bayou, one of the city’s most symbolic bayous, faces challenges due to industrialization in the lower reaches, urbanization in the middle reach, and suburbanization in the upper reaches.

Land development around Buffalo Bayou and the city’s other bayous affects the water quality of these systems, said Ms. Gonzalez. The Texas Council on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) found that as many as 90 percent of the streams in Harris County are impaired. The TCEQ determines whether water quality in a water body used for recreation meets the standard for levels of indicator bacteria, such as

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