Back to top

Greens Bayou

Hazardous Waste Site | Houston, Texas | 1951 to Present

What Happened?

Beginning in 1951, chemical manufacturing facilities disposed of pesticides, untreated liquid waste, and manufacturing wastewaters into ditches that flowed into Greens Bayou. Released contaminants included the pesticide DDTdichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane; chemical compound manufactured for use as a pesticide until it was banned in the U.S. in 1972. DDT remains in the environment for many decades, accumulates in living creatures, and poses health hazards to humans, wildlife, and fish. and heavy metals.

What Were the Impacts?

DDT and heavy metals contaminated nearly seven acres of estuarine habitat in Greens Bayou, accumulating in bottom habitat. Hazardous substances were found at levels high enough to harm bottom-dwelling invertebrates, fish, and aquatic-dependent wildlife.

Cleanup at the site required removal of contaminated sediments. Dredging destroyed approximately 34 acres of wooded wetlands and grassland habitats, as well as twelve acres of bottom habitat.

What’s Happening Now?

In 2013, a settlement was reached with GB Biosciences, ISK Magnetics, and Occidental Chemical Corporation. The responsible parties The individuals, companies, or government agencies responsible for an oil spill, hazardous substance release, or ship grounding incident. have implemented habitat restoration, and reimbursed the trusteesGovernment officials acting on behalf of the public when there is injury to, destruction of, loss of, or threat to natural resources. for the cost of the assessment and restoration oversight. Two projects were selected with input from the public:

  • Restoration of nearly 11 acres of salt marsh at the Baytown Nature Center in Baytown, Texas
  • Preservation of 100 acres of forested wetland in the Spring Creek Corridor in Montgomery County, Texas

Recovery of the restored salt marsh is currently being monitored.

Coastal habitat at Baytown Nature Center before restoration.
Coastal habitat at Baytown Nature Center before restoration.

 “Restoring the Greens Bayou site will not only compensate the public for lost natural resources that were injured at the site, but will also further the implementation of two long-term conservation programs in the Greater Houston Area: The Baytown Nature Center restoration and Spring Creek Corridor preservation efforts.”

Jamie Schubert
Marine Habitat Resource Specialist


Jamie Schubert
NOAA Restoration Center
Galveston, TX
(409) 621-1248

Last updated August 25, 2020