Five detention ponds, each storing 260 acre-feet to 442 acre-feet, funnel water to Horsepen and Armand bayous, which drain to Galveston Bay. More than 2 million cubic yards of earth must be removed to lower the bayou’s high-water condition 2 feet to 3 feet in 100-year floods to reduce downstream impact.
Greater Houston’s 200 golf courses are easier and cheaper to convert to flood-control facilities than other options. Communities from other regions of the country, including Michigan and Virginia, have contacted Clear Lake City Water Authority to learn from this model.
A conservancy recruits volunteers to plant trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers to draw birds, amphibians, and butterflies to 101 acres of upland or island habitat and 39 acres of wetlands. Natural habitat is complemented by an entrance plaza with a brook, 12 miles of hike-and-bike trails, athletic fields, and scenic lookouts.