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Over the past two decades Texas has seen extraordinary economic growth and development to all major metropolitan areas. The Houston-Galveston region is no exception to this growth trend. In this time many natural areas have been developed and replaced by impervious surfaces like concrete, thereby removing green infrastructure such as forests, prairies, and wetlands. Just in the past 15 years there have been significant changes to the amount of impervious surfaces to the Houston-Galveston region. The end result is more water being delivered to people and property, thereby becoming increasingly exposed to flood risk. Green infrastructure such as forests, prairies, and wetlands can capture and slow the release of rainfall. These natural ecosystems provide valuable services by absorbing rainfall, slowing down run-off, and stemming the flow from tidal surges. Integrated with engineered retention systems, together, a balanced approach can help alleviate runoff and flooding issues. Using authoritative data from agencies like the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), this story map highlights changes that have been uncovered in the Houston-Galveston and Southeast Texas region. Because natural systems do not conform to man-made boundaries, this analysis uses USGS HUC 10 watersheds to present statistical information. Development isn't a city or county issue but rather a regional issue. How regions like the Houston-Galveston area balance development with conservation will determine how resilient a region becomes in the long-term.

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Applications & Interactive Mapping Tools