Natural & Beneficial Functions

Floodplains are integral components of the Harris County/City of Seabrook environment, offering various benefits to both human and natural systems. Understanding and preserving the natural functions of floodplains play a crucial role in reducing flood damage and safeguarding resources. Key functions and benefits include:

Flood Storage and Conveyance

Floodplains serve as areas where excess water can be stored during heavy rainfall, reducing the risk of downstream flooding. They also help convey floodwaters, mitigating potential damages.

Velocity and Peak Reduction

Floodplains naturally slow down flood velocities and reduce flood peaks, minimizing the impact of flooding events.

Water Quality Improvement

The soil and vegetation in floodplains act as natural filters, enhancing water quality by removing nutrients and impurities from runoff and processing organic wastes.

Wildlife Habitat

Floodplains and wetlands are essential breeding and feeding grounds for fish and wildlife. They contribute to the creation and enhancement of waterfowl habitat, protecting habitats for rare and endangered species.

Recreation and Aesthetics

Floodplains provide open spaces that offer aesthetic pleasure and serve as areas for outdoor activities. Activities such as hiking, biking, nature walks, bird watching, swimming, and fishing can be enjoyed in these natural spaces.

Natural Asset

Floodplains maintained in their undeveloped or natural state are valuable assets to the City of Seabrook, contributing to the overall well-being of the community and the preservation of its natural environment.


Recognizing the importance of preserving floodplains in their natural state is crucial for sustainable development, environmental conservation, and the overall resilience of the community to flood events.

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.

Clear Creek Watershed

Clear Creek Watershed ImageThe 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

Armand Bayou ImageArmand 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 linking regional detention sites and parks in the watershed to establish recreational and habitat corridors.

Galveston Bay Watershed

Galveston Bay Watershed ImageThe 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 habitats and wildlife, including adjacent marshes and estuaries. Many areas within the watershed are considered environmentally sensitive.