Floodplains are a natural component of the Harris / County environment and provide a wide range of benefits to human and natural systems. Understanding and protecting the natural functions of floodplains helps reduce flood damage and protect resources. They serve as flood storage and conveyance, and reduce flood velocities and flood peaks. Water quality is improved through the soil and vegetation’s ability to filter out nutrients and impurities from runoff and process organic wastes.
Floodplains and wetlands provide breeding and feeding grounds for fish and wildlife, create and enhance waterfowl habitat, and protect habitats for rare and endangered species. They provide open space, aesthetic pleasure, and areas for active uses such as parks and playgrounds. The floodplains are an important asset to City of Seabrook.
Seabrook’s floodplain contains several watersheds and other drainage features that convey water from the surrounding areas into the city on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.
The Clear Creek watershed encompasses portions of Harris, Galveston, Brazoria and Fort Bend counties; 16 cities and 5 drainage/flood control districts. Clear Creek flows from west to east through Clear Lake and into Galveston Bay. The Clear Creek watershed covers approximately 197 square miles containing about 154 miles of open streams.
Armand Bayou is the largest tributary to Clear Creek and is a separate watershed. Located in southeast Harris County, Armand Bayou flows in a southward direction from its headwaters near Deer Park to its mouth at Clear Lake. The watershed covers about 60 square miles and contains about 86 miles of open streams. The watershed hosts the 2,000-acre Armand Bayou Park and Nature Center at its mouth. An ongoing study is investigating the possibilities of creating habitat along the upper two-thirds of the channel and of linking regional detention sites and parks in the watershed in order to establish recreational and habitat corridors.
The Galveston Bay watershed is located at the southeastern edge of Harris County and is the ultimate outfall for all drainage in Harris County. The Galveston Bay watershed covers about 20 square miles containing about 24 miles of open streams with the primary of those being: Pine Gully and Little Cedar Bayou. Galveston Bay supports a wide diversity of marine habitat and wildlife, including adjacent marshes and estuaries. Many areas within the watershed are considered environmentally sensitive.