Gulf Guardian Award Winners 2004
Government Category - 1st Place
|Company:||Port of Houston Authority, TX|
|Project Name:||Stormwater Pollution Cleanup Program – “Mighty Tidy”|
In June 2003, the Port of Houston Authority, the Harris County Supplemental Environmental Program, the Harris County Flood Control District, and the nonprofit group Buffalo Bayou Partnership, launched the largest stormwater pollution cleanup program in Harris County, Texas history. By providing substantial initial and continuing operations funding and in-kind services for the skimmer boat Mighty Tidy, there is now a massive and continuing cleanup of floatable pollution from the watersheds serving more than 400 square miles that empty into the Port of Houston and flow south to the significant national estuary of Galveston Bay and then into the Gulf. This project is helping restore Buffalo Bayou to an ecologically functional system. Fish and other wildlife no longer suffer the effects from eating debris or getting caught up in and then dying in floating trash flushed from Houston area streets. Beyond the dramatic visual improvement of three major bayous and the port, the water quality is improving without the toxicity created during the breakdown of floating debris. Natural habitat along Buffalo Bayou and Galveston Bay stretching to the Gulf is no longer contaminated by floating trash. More than 1,000 cubic yards of floatable litter have been collected to date — nearly double the anticipated amount. An unexpected result is the overwhelmingly positive visibility achieved through a launch media event with more than 250 attendees, a “Name The Skimmer” contest at area schools for the winning Mighty Tidy name, and a visually bold (pink) and unforgettable vessel resulting in regular, very positive media and public attention on the issue of floatable pollution.