Bayou City Waterkeeper’s legal director Kristen Schlemmer discusses their grassroots efforts and successes to keep waters clean and flood control.
Kristen Schlemmer details Bayou City Waterkeeper’s successes
Kristen Schlemmer points out the following.
- Our legal work led to a court order requiring that the City of Houston invest $2 billion in its sanitary sewer infrastructure over the next 15 years. We have argued that the city’s settlement does not do enough to help the low-income and Black and brown communities most affected by sewage pollution and concentrate our advocacy and efforts around that point in particular. You can read more here and here. Broader themes/intersections with Winter Storm are touched on here and here.
- We have been at the core of ongoing advocacy efforts related to flood spending in Harris County. Much good has come out of this process – a real commitment to equity and nature-based solutions and creating a Community Flood Resilience Task Force – but obstacles, mostly in the form of funding, keep arising. The communities that are supposed to be prioritized using equity principles keep bearing the brunts of these shortfalls. More background reading here and here.
- We also do much work to push back against irresponsible development within the floodplains and over wetlands. We have a Wetland Watch program, where we help residents who report problematic developments in their backyards with advocacy and have filed related lawsuits over the years. Currently, we have a lawsuit against the Army Corps of Engineers challenging its decisions related to residential development in League City. More info here.
Kristen Schlemmer gives an inspiring message of encouragement to grassroots organizers. She makes it clear that if her small organization can make a $2 Billion difference, you can too.
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