You Can Protect Armand Potholes
Galveston BayKeeper is evaluating legal options to protect prairie-pothole wetlands on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas. Trendmaker Homes is developing a large tract along Clear Lake City Boulevard just north of the intersection of El Dorado and CLC Blvd. This is the largest known immediate threat, but it is not the only threat.
A substantial amount of prairie pothole wetlands exist at the Trendmaker site, an area known as the Armand Potholes. At issue is the nature of the connection between these wetlands and “traditional navigable waters,” such as Armand Bayou. The fear is that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will acquiesce to developer contentions that headwater prairie-pothole wetlands, such as these, are essentially closed depressions with no significant nexus to traditionally navigable waters.
Galveston BayKeeper contends, as academic research has shown, that these wetlands are hydrologically connected to traditionally navigable waters, and that the aquatic integrity of these navigable waters is dependent on the nature of the headwater wetlands.
Development such what is occurring at the Trendmaker site is occurring all over the region. The Trendmaker site is a good one around which to mount a challenge, because of the very distinct presence of prairie pothole wetlands on this site and because two independent university studies documenting the significant hydrologic nexus of these kinds of wetlands to traditionally navigable waters were undertaken in very close proximity to this site.
Galveston BayKeeper’s intention is to compel the Corps of Engineers to recognize its jurisdiction over these wetlands and to require that any wetlands disturbed or destroyed through the development are fully mitigated in accordance with the law. The Armand Potholes are of such exceptional value that an argument could be made that these wetlands should not be developed under any circumstances because the cumulative impacts on these kinds of wetlands has rendered them very rare.
Galveston Baykeeper has retained experienced legal counsel to help it evaluate its options for successfully defending vital wetlands. Lawyers cost money, and your donation would help make a serious, intelligent opposition possible.