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Help protect Houston's bayous

Discover the beautiful bayous of Houston and help preserve our community's environment

HOUSTON — Earth Day is a day to celebrate our world and support environmental protection.  This April 22, 2020, will honor fifty years since the first Earth Day was celebrated.  

Many organizations in Houston do their part to protect the environment, including Bayou Preservation Association.  Deborah Duncan talked with the organization's presient and CEO, Sarah P. Bernhardt, Ph.D., along with students Caoilin Krauthaus and Lila Mankad, co-founders of Bag Free Bayous, about what they are doing to help protect Houston waterways. 

Dr. Bernhardt says the mission of Bayou Preservation Association is to celebrate, protect and restore 2,500 miles of waterways, bayous and streams in the Houston area.  The organization hosts symposiums, clean-up projects, Earth Day Festivities and the annual Trash Bash event.

Caoilin and Lila have loved nature since they were young.  They couldn't believe the tangles of plastic they saw in the bayous, trees and shrubs when they visited their local park.  The pair took action and started a petition to ban single-use plastic bags in Houston, which kill wildlife and block waterways.  In addition, they started Bag Free Bayous, which hosts community clean-up efforts and they sell reusable bags, upcycled from banners and blue jeans.

Caoilin and Lila will be honored at this year's Bayou Preservation Association Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Awards luncheon for their work in protecting the environment. 

Dr. Bernhardt encourages the public to discover the bayous: hike, bike, paddle, enjoy the nature around our waterways. Also, get involved in clean-up projects, water quality testing and educational efforts. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities with Bayou Preservation Association.  

For more information, log on to BayouPreservation.org

To order a reusable bag or to sign the Bag Free Bayous petition, log on to BagFreeBayous.org.