There’s more damage to the areas along Buffalo Bayou than just the collapsed segment of trail pictured at top between the Travis and Milam street bridges. The photo above taken east of Travis shows where Spaghetti Warehouse’s former parking lot is eroding as well and transforming into a new set of cliffs on the water.
Heading west down the trail, more obstacles appear near Montrose Blvd. where the northern trail cuts past the closed Johnny Steele Dog Park:
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Rough Around the Edges
A SEAWALL IN CANADA TAKES A DIFFERENT APPROACH TO COMBATING COASTAL EROSION Meanwhile, in Vancouver: Those familiar with Galveston’s frequent sand replenishment projects likely know that flat seawalls can exacerbate beach erosion by reflecting wave energy that would dissipate more readily in a natural sandy setting. In response so-called king tides pummeling the coast of Vancouver, a Canadian landscape artist collaborated with a biologist and engineers to address beach erosion in a new way. Blending principles of ecology, hydrology, and aesthetics, Metamorphous incorporates boulders, plant life, and an angular a steel structure intended to rust away altogether in less than 100 years. The functional public art piece slows the flow of water as it rushes inland, causing sand to be deposited on the beach for the first time in resident memory. [Citylab]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WE’RE UNDER YOUR BEACH HOUSE, GRILLIN’ YOUR BURGERZ “It may appear that the homeowner ‘won’ this case, but read the law again. Texas law allows anyone to place a blanket on the beach, right up to the vegetation line, even if it’s an intrusion on the privacy of a seaside home. Basically, you can have a cookout under the house, park your car, spread out, whatever, and the homeowner has zero ability to do anything about it, as the home is within the vegetation boundary.” [mikeyyc, commenting on Texas Supreme Court: Private Properties Can Erode Public Beaches]
TEXAS SUPREME COURT: PRIVATE PROPERTIES CAN ERODE PUBLIC BEACHES The state’s high court ruled today in favor of Californian Carol Severance, whose rent house on Kennedy Dr. in West Galveston found itself in front of the vegetation line after Hurricane Rita hit in 2006. The Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state can’t claim an easement on her property — but if the same topography had resulted over a longer period of time, the easement would be okay: “Texas law allows anyone to place a blanket on the beach, right up to the vegetation line, even if it’s an intrusion on the privacy of a seaside home. But in a split decision, the court found that the state’s policy of ‘rolling easements’ — the ever-shifting border between public and private land — does not apply when it’s moved by a storm. At the same time, the court held that policy is justifiable in cases of erosion, which is gradual.” [Houston Chronicle; decision; previously on Swamplot]
An organization that won guardianship of Olivewood Cemetery about a year and a half ago is trying to raise funds to hire an archeological firm to recover and rebury the longtime residents of up to 5 graves — before they’re washed away into White Oak Bayou. The cemetery sits on the boundary line between the First and Sixth Wards, hidden behind Grocers Supply and Party Boy on Studewood, just south of I-10.
Recently, the erosion appears to have picked up, leaving the potential for dozens of graves to wash away. In addition to the ravine system, the cemetery’s woes stem from runoff from nearby Grocers Supply and a downward, south-to-north slope that ferries water through the cemetery. [Community Archaeology Research Institute associate director Robert] Marcom said one goal is to channel water to nearby White Oak Bayou without having to go through the ravine system.
Olivewood became Houston’s first incorporated African-American cemetery in 1875. The grounds are a bit tough to get to, and many of the remaining headstones in the long-neglected property are nestled deep in lush beds of vegetation, reportedly including plenty of poison oak and poison ivy. Descendants of Olivewood regularly organizes cleanups of the 8-acre cemetery, but only the front quarter has been tamed so far.
Like apple pie, July 4th, and auditing the Federal Reserve, Olivewood appears to be one of those rare causes that attracts the involvement of both major political parties. Here’s our evidence:
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