About Project Brays

Brays Bayou Marsh at Mason Park

Educating the Community and Protecting the Environment

As a local initiative of several partners, the Brays Bayou Marsh is a freshwater marsh that provides a habitat for native plants, wildlife and fish. The Brays Bayou Marsh at Mason Park is located two miles north of the IH-610 and IH-45 interchange in southeast Houston. The project is bounded by Mason Park to the north and west, Brays Bayou to the west and south and to the east by the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. This marsh is a pilot project for additional wetland areas that may be constructed in Harris County in the future.

> Brays Bayou Marsh at Mason Park Layout

Approximately 3.5 acres of wetlands, or freshwater tidal marsh, were created from existing land that was altered. Construction included some modifications to the channel and building a shelf for the wetlands, as well as the creation of wetlands that will catch stormwater runoff and improve water quality by removing pollutants from the water entering the main channel.

Creating Opportunities for Added Features

Project Brays has presented a unique opportunity for other organizations to build upon the federal flood damage reduction initiative and create local initiatives  to enhance projects with other features. While the Brays Bayou Marsh project is not part of the federal project, HCFCD was responsible for the overall engineering design and construction of the freshwater marsh.

Improving Water Quality

The approximate 3.5 acres of wetlands, or freshwater tidal marsh, was created from existing land that was altered to be a wetland area. Construction included creating a wetland that catches stormwater runoff and improves water quality by removing pollutants from the water entering the main channel.

Project Partners

Partners for the Brays Bayou Marsh at Mason Park project include:

  • Houston Parks and Recreation Department
  • Texas Agrilife Extension / Texas Sea Grant
  • Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Texas Master Naturalist Program
  • Cesar E. Chavez High School
  • Stephen F. Austin High School
  • Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • Galveston Bay Estuary Program
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Texas General Land Office / Texas Coastal Management
  • NRG Energy, Inc.

Students Making a Difference

High school students are involved in the project to enhance their sense of ownership in the local environment. For example, HCFCD has been actively involved with students at Chavez and Austin High Schools working cooperatively to teach them the importance wetlands play in a community. These students have joined forces with the Texas Cooperative Extension/Texas Sea Grant to help restore the bayou along Mason Park and conserve wetland scenery, taking on a personal responsibility to educate others. The students collected native plants from other wetlands and are fostering them in a nursery until construction is complete and the plants are stable enough to be transplanted into the new wetlands at Mason Park.

Project Status

HCFCD completed construction of its portion of the project at the beginning of the first quarter of 2006. Community and project partners will continue planting marshland vegetation in the new wetland marsh to enhance the site and restore wildlife habitat.