Geography

Cedar Bayou is a tributary to the Galveston Bay system, thus any sources of contamination potentially impact a wide range of economic and ecological interests even beyond their watershed of origin.

Additionally, the estuaries of Cedar Bayou and surrounding areas are considered a critical wildlife habitat, and the watershed contains many environmentally sensitive and economically important resources. For more information about the Galveston Bay system and its importance to the region, please visit Back the Bay.

Watershed Issues Geography Goals and Results

The Cedar Bayou Watershed, which forms the border between urban Harris County and a primarily rural section of Chambers County, is largely undeveloped and agricultural lands. However, development is occurring at an appreciable pace in this watershed. Smart planning, which encourages conservation of undeveloped areas, particularly in riparian and other sensitive areas, along with the use of appropriate water quality best management practices (BMP) in areas that are being developed, will be necessary to continue to have high quality waters.

The Cedar Bayou Watershed covers approximately 173 square miles and drains into the Galveston Bay system. The Galveston Bay system is a major economic asset for the City of Houston and the surrounding metropolitan area, as well as being a vital ecological component of the Gulf Coast area. Oyster production, recreational activities, and commercial fishing are significant economic assets of the area.

While the majority of the area is undeveloped or agricultural land, there are a few incorporated areas within the Cedar Bayou Watershed. The City of Baytown is the largest of the developments along the waterway, and is located close to the end of the Tidal section, thus having a large potential impact on the sensitive estuarine environments near the Bayou’s mouth. There are several large industrial facilities along the waterway, and a range of industrial activity (primarily related to the petrochemical industry) has occurred on or near Cedar Bayou in the past.


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