The 19th Annual Symposium - The Cost of Doing Nothing – Opting for Resilience

Bayou Preservation Association 19th Annual Symposium will once again be virtual, to continue to reach a wider audience across two days. The two-day symposium will take place on Wednesday, September 28th, and Thursday, September 29th, via Zoom from 8 am to 12 pm. This year's theme is The Cost of Doing Nothing – Opting for Resilience.

As regional leaders focus on building a resilient, sustainable community, we want to inspire action to support these efforts and to discuss how we manage this new normal in the region. Building on the most recent BPA symposia, we will update sustainable solutions implementation in the area and present an 'action agenda' including ways you can help our region avoid the 'cost' of inaction.

2022 and beyond: 

Post-Symposium Action Agenda



This year’s Symposium theme The Cost of Doing Nothing - Opting for Resilience, will offer sustainable solutions implementation and present an 'action agenda' including ways you can help our region avoid the 'cost' of inaction. We will hear from local agencies and experts about how implementing nature’s best practices enhances our quality of life, improved protection from extreme storm events, and enhanced outdoor recreational opportunities. Learn more and view this year's Symposium Schedule, here.

Sponsored by: 

Platinum Level:
EHRA Engineering

Gold Level:
Talley Landscape Architects, Inc.
Houston-Galveston Area Council

Silver Level:
Houston Public Works
Port Houston
Harris County Engineering Department

Bayou Supporter:
SWA Environmental Consultants
GSI Environmental Inc.
CivilTech, A Woolpert Company
Allen Boone Humphries Robinson LLP


Thank you sincerely to this year's dedicated team of Organizing Partners and their commitment to Bayou Preservation Association's mission and vision.

  • City of Houston
  • EHRA Engineering
  • Harris County Engineering Dept.
  • Houston-Galveston Area Council


Pramod Sambidi, PhD is the Senior Manager of Data Analytics and Research at the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). Pramod manages a team responsible for developing robust data models and forecasts for population growth, land use, transportation planning, air quality, water quality, economic development, and flood mitigation.  He also leads H-GAC team in designing and developing interactive web mapping applications/tools to assist local governments, planners, researchers, and businesses in effective decision-making process. Pramod has more than 15 years of experience in modeling, regional and urban economics, and data management. Pramod holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from Louisiana State University (2007).  As the District Landscape Architect and arborist for TxDOT’s Houston District, he is responsible for managing the Green Ribbon Master Plan (GRP).  The GRP is the Corridor Aesthetics and Landscape Master Plan which guides structural aesthetics of roadway corridors and landscape development throughout the six-county district.  When the GRP was developed, it was the first districtwide plan of its kind for state DOTs across the country.  He has also served as the Project Manager for the Hermann Park Conservancy during the award-winning multi-million dollar Hermann Park Master Plan update.  

Ms. Marina Badoian-Kriticos is the Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs at HARC where she also serves as Assistant Director of the US Department of Energy’s Upper-West Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistant Partnership (CHP TAP), and Senior Program Advisor to Texas PACE Authority. Her research focuses on the intersection of energy, climate, resilience, and natural resource policy and program adoption and implementation, and strategies that advance environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) integration and sustainability performance. Prior to joining HARC, Ms. Badoian-Kriticos served as City Energy Project Senior Advisor at the Institute for Market Transformation. In this role she focused on expanding energy and water efficiency in the built environment and provided support and expertise to the City of Houston to develop programs and policies which will lead to a healthier and more prosperous city. Ms. Badoian-Kriticos also served as Sustainability Director for the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) where she drove sustainability initiatives through a global organization and developed tools for market innovation. She currently serves as co-chair of the ULI Houston Urban Resilience and Sustainability Committee and is a board member of the USGBC Gulf Coast.   

Dr. Milton Rahman, Ph.D., P.E. is appointed as Executive Director of Harris County Engineering Department by the Harris County Commissioners Court on January 25, 2022. As the Executive Director and County Engineer for Harris County he will lead several core areas of services including, Study, Design, Bid & Construction Services for Road & Bridge Projects, & Traffic Signals, Capital Design, Bid, Construction of the majority of County Facilities, Acquisition of Real Property & Tax Sales Coordination Services, Utility Coordination Services, Maintenance of the Majority of County Facilities, Permitting and Floodplain Management Services, Regional and strategic planning Services, Disaster Recovery Operations - Continuity of Government Task Force, Household Hazardous Waste Services. Harris County Engineering Department also administers 13 sets of rules and regulations, including Floodplain Management for Harris County, Texas. Over his decades of public service, Dr. Rahman has served as Director of Public Works at the City of Stafford and spent almost a decade in the City of San Antonio Public Works Department. Since 2019 he has served Harris County in the Commissioner Precinct 2 office, most recently as Deputy Chief of Staff; where he was responsible to lead 350+ staff members and oversee the operations of several departments- Engineering & Planning, Healthcare and Social Services, Support Services and Transportation, Capital Improvements, Park & Recreations, Road & Bridge Maintenance, Fleet Services, Facilities, and Non-Profit operations. Prior to joining Harris County Dr. Rahman served as the Associate Vice President for Stuart Consulting Group where, as a consultant to the HCFCD, he served as Deputy Program Manager for the countywide Hurricane Harvey Disaster Recovery Program. Dr. Rahman is a Professional Engineer, Project Management Professional, Certified Floodplain Manager, and Envision Sustainability Professional. Dr. Rahman obtained a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Engineering, a Masters in Civil Engineering from University of Texas at San Antonio, and a Bachelor of Science in Water Resources Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. 

Anita Hollmann serves as Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) primary contact for the Livable Centers Program. Her 10-year evaluation of the Program is nationally recognized and serves as the base for most recent programmatic changes. Specifically, Anita’s interest lies in maturing planning-level recommendations to implementation through appropriate policies, programs, and community-appropriate projects. As a seasoned transportation planner, her works varied to include sub-regional mobility studies, roadway design review, bikeway design considerations, and most recently, land use. Anita lives by Houston’s Light Rail but knows that’s not enough – as a 2022-23 Walk College Fellow, she looks forward to learning more. 

Dr. Tina Petersen, Ph.D., P.E. Throughout her educational and professional career, Dr. Tina Petersen has been a leader in water quality and watershed issues, with a specific focus on Houston-area bayous. Tina has a B.S. in Biology/Environmental Studies from Baylor University and a M.S. and Ph.D. from University of Houston in Environmental Engineering.  Tina’s master’s thesis and doctoral work focused on Whiteoak and Buffalo Bayous, examining the source of indicator bacteria loading to these bayous through field studies, laboratory work, watershed modeling and receiving water quality modeling. She published seven peer-reviewed papers focused on water quality and watershed issues regarding Houston area bayous. Following graduate school, Tina started her career with a consulting and engineering firm and continued her involvement in the water quality field. Tina served as a Vice President with CDM Smith, having over 15 years of experience managing complex projects with local city governments as well as water authorities, cities, and State agencies across Texas. Her work included investigations of indicator bacteria and nutrient loading for Houston area bayous, such as Armand Bayou and Dickinson Bayou.  Outside of Houston, her work focused on some of the most challenging water quality concerns facing the State of Texas, include water quality impacts from development and re-development, stormwater impacts on receiving waters, the potential for green stormwater infrastructure to mitigate urbanization, pretreatment of wastewater to meet receiving water quality standards, as well as examination of indirect potable reuse discharges into lakes that are critically needed for drinking water supply. In January 2019, Tina took a position as Deputy General Manager at the Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, overseeing the District’s the District Regulatory Planning, Scientific Research, and Water Conservation Programs. The Harris-Galveston Subsidence District is a special purpose district created by the Texas Legislature in 1975 to regulate groundwater withdrawal throughout Harris and Galveston counties for the purpose of preventing land subsidence and the resultant flooding. Tina’s combination of leadership and scientific technical expertise regarding water quality and Houston area bayous would provide significant benefit to the Bayou Preservation Association.     

Dr. Gabriela Sosa, Ph.D. has expertise in restoration ecology, land management and environmental policy. Dr. Sosa is the Conservation Manager at Buffalo Bayou Partnership, a non-profit organization revitalizing and transforming Houston’s most significant natural resource. She has previously worked as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives for the Committee on Natural Resources in Washington, D.C., and as a Field Scientist for the Texas Water Resources Institute. In 2019, she earned her Ph.D. in Ecosystem Science and Management from Texas A&M University-College Station. She serves on the Board of the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration. 

Dr. Kurt Ewen, Ph.D., currently serves as the Chief of Staff and Vice Chancellor of Strategy, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness and at Houston Community College (HCC).   Prior to his move to Houston, Kurt worked at Valencia College in Orlando, Florida.  In his 15+ years at Valencia, Kurt served as a Professor of Philosophy/Humanities, Director of Institutional Assessment, AVP for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning.   

Priya Zachariah, AICP, is the Chief Resilience and Sustainability Officer for the City of Houston, leading the Mayor's Office of Resilience and Sustainability – a newly combined office focused on implementing Resilient Houston and Houston's Climate Action Plan. She has a bachelor's in architecture from India and a master's in urban and regional planning from UCLA. Zachariah has over twenty years of experience in design and project management, program development, land use, and transit planning and development. Before moving to the United States, she worked in the south and southeast Asia and the Middle East. While she is not a native Houstonian, she and her family have lived in Houston for over eleven years and consider themselves to be Houstonians for life.  

Dr. Fouad Jaber, Ph.D., is a professor and integrated water resources management extension specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension located at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. Dr. Jaber received BSc and MSc in agriculture and Irrigation engineering from the American University of Beirut in 1992 and 1995. He received his Ph.D. in 2001 in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University with an emphasis in Natural and Environmental Resources Engineering. Dr. Jaber worked as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Florida from 2002 to 2007, after which he joined Texas A&M AgriLife.  He has published several refereed journal articles conference proceedings papers, in addition to extension publications and governmental reports. He has been conducting research and extension programs related to green stormwater infrastructure, nature-based systems, stream restoration, and climate change resiliency studies since 2002, with funding exceeding 2.5 million dollars. Dr. Jaber has extensive international expertise as an FAO consultant and has led workshops in Qatar, Algeria, South Korea, Iraq, India, and Lebanon. Dr. Jaber is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas. He has received the 2016 Standards Development Award from ASABE, the 2104 Blue Ribbon Award – The American Society for Horticultural Sciences Southern Region, and the 2011 Blue Ribbon Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.  

Josh Oyer is the Coastal Resiliency Program Manager at the Texas General Land Office with 14 years of experience in stakeholder engagement and outreach working for various agencies with the State of Texas. He has a degree in Urban Planning from Texas State University and is a Certified Floodplain Manager through the Association of State Floodplain Managers. In his work towards the ongoing Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan, he continues to draw connections between the habitat restoration, hazard mitigation, and watershed management communities to find common goals and funding support for important coastal initiatives in Texas. 

Jason Pinchback is the Water Resources Program manager at the Texas General Land Office. His main duties focus on Clean Coast Texas, Texas Beach Watch, and the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network. Jason’s career in water resources began as a volunteer water quality monitor while still in high school.  Since then, his work on watershed characterization, stakeholder processes, and water policy aims to identify real-world solutions for natural resource management challenges. 

Jacqueline Patterson, MSW, MPH, founder and Executive Director of The Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership. Jacqueline Patterson, MSW, MPH, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Chisholm Legacy Project: A Resource Hub for Black Frontline Climate Justice Leadership. She has worked on gender justice, racial justice, economic justice, and environmental justice, with organizations including Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, IMA World Health, United for a Fair Economy, ActionAid, Health GAP, and the organization she co-founded, Women of Color United. Before founding the Chisholm Legacy Project, Patterson served for 11 years as the Senior Director of Environmental and Climate Justice at the NAACP. She serves on the Boards of Directors for the Institute of the Black World, the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, National Black Workers Center Project, Bill Anderson Fund and the Advisory Boards for the Center for Earth Ethics and the Hive Fund. 

Teal Harrison is a Climate Resilience Specialist with Adaptation International, specializing in flood adaptation and community engagement. Presently, Teal works with over 50 Gulf Coast municipalities to assess stormwater system vulnerabilities and proactively plan for future storms, floods, and coastal hazards. She also partners with faith-based communities in South Carolina and Georgia to address brownfield and other local environmental justice issues. Teal has worked in advocacy, outreach, and research capacities in past roles on state and regional flood planning, nature-based solutions to flooding, equitable disaster recovery, nonpoint source pollution, water quality stewardship, and food justice. She is trained in social and environmental sciences. She holds a B.A. in Behavioral Biology from Johns Hopkins University and an M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Michigan.  

Sungmin Lee is a Program Manager for the Data Analytics and Research Department with the Houston-Galveston Area Council. Mr. Lee joined H-GAC in 2014. His experience includes H-GAC’s regional growth forecast, data management of regional land use inventory, and development of various interactive planning applications for land use, Census, transportation, and environment. Mr. Lee received his master’s degree in Community & Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin, Texas, in 2007 and Public Administration from CNU, South Korea. Prior to his work at H-GAC, Mr. Lee worked as a Senior Transportation Planner with the Planning & Development Department, City of Houston, and a researcher with Seoul Institute, South Korea.   

Harris County Commissioner Rodney Ellis was born and raised in Houston’s Sunnyside neighborhood. The proud son of a yardman and a maid, Ellis attended Texas public schools from grade school through law school. He holds a bachelor's degree from Texas Southern University, a master's degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a law degree from the University Of Texas School Of Law. As Commissioner of Harris County Precinct One, Ellis has played a critical role in the Court by securing misdemeanor bail reform, flood equity guidelines, stronger worker protections, and economic opportunity provisions, funding for indigent defense, and COVID-19 recovery funding, including direct relief for residents, small businesses, emergency rental assistance, shelters for those experiencing homelessness, as well as other innovative programs, including providing computers to low-income students, among other achievements.  Before serving as a County Commissioner, Ellis was elected to Houston City Council and served three terms before being elected to the Texas Senate in 1990. For 26 years, he represented Texas' 13th state senate district and passed over 700 pieces of legislation. On November 8, 2016, Ellis was elected county commissioner and sworn into office on January 1, 2017. As County Commissioner, Ellis prioritizes inclusive economic growth that uplifts all communities, ensures access to parks and green space in under-served neighborhoods, advances criminal justice reform that protects the rights of all people, and provides safe, affordable transportation options. Following Hurricane Harvey, Ellis successfully advocated for equitable investment in flood control infrastructure and disaster recovery in vulnerable communities through a $2.5B bond approved by voters in 2018. He is an avid art collector and cycling enthusiast. Commissioner Ellis is married to Licia Green-Ellis and has four children.  

Elected in December 2015, Sylvester Turner is serving his second four-year term as Houston’s 62nd mayor. Since taking office, Mayor Turner eliminated a $160 million budget shortfall in record time; led the city’s remarkable rebound from Hurricane Harvey; championed historic pension reform; cheered on the 2017 World Series-winning Houston Astros; hosted a successful Super Bowl LI; expanded municipal investments in renewable energy and led the winning bid to host the World Petroleum Congress in 2020. As the head of the energy capital of the world and the most diverse city in the nation, Mayor Turner has brought a performance-driven approach to the job, creating more responsive, streamlined and efficient delivery of city services while shoring up Houston’s financial future. Thanks to his leadership, the Texas Legislature and local voters approved the pension reform package that reduces the city’s liability by billions of dollars and provided a “fix” that had eluded the city for 17 years. One of the mayor’s signature initiatives is Complete Communities, which aims to improve the quality of life for residents in all neighborhoods. The mayor’s other priorities include filling more than 90,000 potholes on city streets, implementing a six-point holistic plan for addressing homelessness, reducing flooding and improving drainage. Mayor Turner ’s civic leadership has been nationally recognized through his service as a member of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Transportation and Communications Standing Committee, vice chair of the National Climate Action Agenda, member of the C40 and Global Covenant for Mayor’s for Climate and Energy and an advisory board member of the African American Mayors Association. He is also the recipient of the Ohtli Award, the Mexican government’s highest honor. Turner has been featured in publications and news outlets such as 60 Minutes, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FOX News, Wall Street Journal, Black Enterprise Magazine, Cuba Today Magazine, Ebony, New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today. Prior to his election as mayor, Turner served for 27 years in the Texas House as the representative for District 139. He worked on the House Appropriations Committee for 21 years and served as Speaker Pro Tem for three terms. He was appointed to several Budget Conference Committees to help balance the state’s budget and served on the Legislative Budget Board. Mayor Turner is a life-long resident of Houston and lives in the Acres Homes community where he grew up with eight siblings. He is a graduate of the University of Houston and earned a law degree from Harvard University. He began his law practice at Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. and later founded the Barnes & Turner Law Firm. Mayor Turner is the proud father of First Daughter Ashley Turner, who is continuing the family tradition of public service in the healthcare field.   

NOTE: Once you have purchased your ticket, you will receive an email with a link where you must register to ensure you receive the access link on the day(s) of the Symposium. Upon completion, you will also have the option to add the event to your preferred calendar. 







Virutal via Zoom

9/28/2022 8:00:00 AM