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Sims Bayou: Riparian Restoration Projects

The Student Conservation Association, Inc. is restoring riparian habitat, leading volunteer events, and monitoring water quality at eight parks along Sims Bayou in the Houston area.

Map of the Sims Bayou watershed with stream segments.

Project Area

River Basin: San Jacinto

Water Bodies: Sims Bayou Above Tidal (1007D) and Sims Bayou Tidal (1007)

Location: City of Houston


The Sims Bayou watershed is in the highly urbanized area of Houston. The volume of stormwater runoff is high in urban areas because a big percentage of land is impervious. The impervious surface drives huge amounts of pollutants to easily wash into waterways. Sims Bayou Above Tidal does not meet state water quality standards for primary contact recreation use due to high because bacteria concentrations, while Sims Bayou Tidal does not meet state standards for fish consumption use due to several legacy pollutants and has concerns for excess nutrients. Three projects have been implemented aimed at educating the public about watershed management and improving water quality through riparian habitat restoration and trash cleanups.

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Project Descriptions

February 2017 – February 2020

The Student Conservation Association, Inc. (SCA) implemented best management practices (BMPs) including litter cleanups, riparian habitat restoration, and public education at Milby Park. Student crews, trained by SCA, and community volunteers participated in project activities, and conducted Texas Stream Team water quality monitoring. 

October 2019 – August 2022

SCA and Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) carried on riparian habitat restorations and enhancements at Charlton, Stuart, and Reveille Parks in Houston. HPARD hired student interns to work and facilitate events to remove invasive plants, install and maintain native riparian plants, and cleanup litter.

The interns completed multiple environmental science training programs including Texas Watershed Stewards and Texas Stream Team Community Scientist Monitoring, and then performed monthly Texas Stream Team monitoring at two sites in the project area. SCA developed and installed educational signage at each restoration site. 

September 2021 – April 2026

SCA and HPARD will continue with riparian restoration, student intern training, water quality monitoring, and community outreach at Townwood, Margaret Jenkins, FM Law, and Sims Bayou Parks in Houston.

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For More Information

Student Conservation Association website

To find out more about the NPS Program, call 512-239-6682 or email us at

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