Trash-Free Bayous Program

Needs and Benefits for the Trash-Free Bayous Program

Bayous within the Houston-Galveston region, as well as streams all across the country, are plagued by trash, most of which originates from the lands around the streams and then washes in during rain events.  Trash is an aesthetic issue and an economic issue, but it is also a water quality, wildlife, and health issue.  Trash harms physical habitats, transports chemical pollutants, threatens aquatic life, and interferes with human enjoyment and uses of river, marine and coastal environments.

In spite of the long Texas tradition of both preventing and cleaning up trash – “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign of the Texas Highway Department since 1985; “Adopt-a-Beach” program of the Texas General Land Office since 1986; and Rivers, Lakes, Bays ‘n’ Bayous Trash Bash® originated by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 1994 – still, we continue to see huge volumes of trash in our bayous, especially after rain events.

Meeting Bayou Preservation Association Goals through the Trash-Free Bayous Program

The overarching goal of Bayou Preservation Association’s Trash-Free Bayous Program is the reduction of trash in the region’s waterways, through bayou clean-ups, and through the development and implementation of prevention strategies and projects to prevent nonpoint source pollution in our bayous, including trash.

The Trash-Free Bayous Program supports the Bayou Preservation Association’s Stewardship goal:   Increase stewardship and stewardship opportunities to improve the health of our watersheds, creeks and bayous.  The Trash-Free Bayous Program also supports the Bayou Preservation Association’s Education and Outreach goal:  Increase understanding of area bayous and creeks and their watersheds.

Program Objectives and Key Components of the Trash-Free Bayous Program

  • Support volunteer bayou clean-ups, by providing assistance and partnering with local groups in organizing clean-ups of their waterways, including Trash Bash®.
  • Develop a campaign to help prevent trash from entering the bayous, through pilot projects, outreach and education, and influencing public policies.
  • Build understanding of the relationship between littering on the land and trash in our bayous, and the harmful effects of that trash, through presentations, reports, workshops, signage, and participation in local events and workshops, to inform citizen groups, schools, and others.