Buffalo Bayou One Step Closer to National Heritage Area Distinction
April 21, 2010
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) today commended a study released by the National Park Service (NPS) concluding that Buffalo Bayou is eligible for the designation of National Heritage Area (NHA). Buffalo Bayou runs from central Houston and along the Houston Ship Channel to Galveston Bay.
Rep. Green introduced the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Study Act, passed in 2002, that directed the Department of the Interior to undertake a study evaluating 8 criteria which must be met for a National Heritage Area distinction. The 135-page report that was just completed concludes that Buffalo Bayou successfully meets the criteria, including the presence of national, historic, and cultural resources that reflect traditions, customs, beliefs, and folk life valuable to America’s national story.
“I’m extremely happy that the National Park Service came to the same conclusion that we in Houston already know, that the significance of Buffalo Bayou cannot be understated in the history of Houston, of Texas, and of the nation,” Rep. Green stated.
The NPS report describes the Bayou as an important artery currently supporting oil refining, petrochemical production, and commercial trade. It also sustained the growth of Baytown and the development of Houston’s economic powerhouses of energy and petrochemical industries. But the significance of Buffalo Bayou began in early Texas history as a focal point of settlement and then as the location of the Battle of San Jacinto, where Texas won its independence in 1836.
“Today, Buffalo Bayou has enabled our area to become the energy capital of the world and the Port of Houston to become the busiest port in the United States,” Rep. Green continued. “It is not only essential to the economy of Texas, but a cultural centerpiece.”
Rep. Green is currently moving into the final stages of the NHA process by drafting legislation to officially designate Buffalo Bayou as a National Heritage Area. If approved by Congress, Buffalo Bayou will be the first National Heritage Area in the State of Texas. Once the legislation is authorized, the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area can receive up to $1 million annually for 10 years.
The Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area plan has received wide support from area organizations. It is a unique opportunity for industry and community to come together and highlight rare historic aspects. The distinction will allow tourism benefits of federal recognition without restriction on land or commerce. The National Park Service study will be available for review and public comment for 30 days until May 21, 2010.
To view the NPS study, please go to: