Waterway Cleanup

Waterway Cleanup

The Houston area storm water drainage system directs street water and debris into curb catch basins that route runoff through an underground system that empties into the city’s waterways. Discarded cans, cups, bags, and other litter from the streets enter the drainage system and flow into Houston’s bayous that eventually empty into Buffalo Bayou and on to Galveston Bay. To combat the recurring presence of trash in Buffalo Bayou, along its banks, and trapped in trees and other vegetation, BBP launched the Clean & Green Program in 2002.

Clean & Green Program

Five days a week, BBP’s Clean & Green team is out on the water collecting and removing trash and debris from Houston’s most significant natural resource. Community service workers assist BBP staff members with the removal of litter and cleaning of storm drains, the bayou’s banks, and other natural collection areas. Integral to this program is the Bayou-Vac, an industrial strength vessel that vacuums floatable trash from the water’s surface that was originally designed by a BBP board member. BBP also utilizes containment booms strategically placed on Buffalo Bayou and neighboring bayous for more efficient collection.

What can you do to help?

  • Support the Clean & Green team by making a donation.
  • Pick up trash in and around your neighborhood, even if it isn’t yours.
  • Use reusable bags when shopping.
  • Start using refillable water bottles.
  • Bring your own coffee mug to work.
  • Pack lunch in a reusable container.
  • Don’t purchase products with excess packaging.
  • Try reusable straws.

In 2023, BBP collected and removed more than 2,000 cubic yards of trash and debris from the waterway, which equals approximately 167 commercial dump truck loads.

Removing trash, debris, and other pollutants from Buffalo Bayou prevents them from making their way to Galveston Bay, the largest estuary on the Texas coast and part of the National Estuary Program. BBP’s waterway cleanup improves the water quality of our region, leading to a healthier ecosystem and habitats for wildlife.

Support the Clean & Green team by making a donation.


Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s Clean & Green Program receives funding from Harris County Flood Control District and Port Houston, along with generous support from Cheniere, TotalEnergies, SM Energy, TPC Group, and HOW Water.