Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bird-rich coastal prairie in Texas threatened by development

Environment News Service: The Sierra Club late Monday filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Houston against the Federal Highway Administration over the environmental impacts of the proposed Grand Parkway Segment E in western Harris County on the Katy Prairie. Located on the Texas Coastal Plain the Katy Prairie encompasses over 1,000 square miles, bounded by the Brazos River on the southwest, pine-hardwood forest on the north, and the city of Houston on the east.

The Katy Prairie includes agricultural wetlands, depressional wetlands, creek corridors, and coastal grasslands inhabited by hundreds of thousands of geese, ducks, herons, egrets, songbirds, and other wildlife. In autumn, millions, of migratory birds arrive, especially waterfowl. Some make Katy Prairie their winter habitat until March, when they return to nesting areas in the upper Midwest and Canada. Others use the prairie as a staging area on their way south.

"In the rush to push Segment E of the Grand Parkway for the benefit of real estate developers, the Federal Highway Administration conducted a weak environmental review that ignores the project's harm to the Katy Prairie, its potential impact on Houston air quality, and better transportation alternatives," said Brandt Mannchen, air quality chair for the state chapter and Houston group of the Sierra Club…

An image of the Katy Prairie in Texas, from the Katy Prairie Conservancy, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

1 comment:

Shannon Sims said...

Great blog! I wanted to share with you another blog that you and your readers might also find of interest.

The Texas Coastal Law blog from the University of Texas School of Law:

If you are interested in any aspect of coastal law, this site links to not only sites about Texas Coastal Law, but also sites about American Coastal Law.