Bayou Preservation Association 15th Annual Symposium Highlights “Staying Awake After the Harvey Wake-up Call”

Symposium will be held on October 18th  from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the United Way of Greater Houston 

Event to focus how greater Houston area is faring since Harvey and planning how to respond going forward

For this year’s Symposium, the Bayou Preservation Association has invited presenters from Harris County, Harris County Flood Control District and the City of Houston; as well as the Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium, Houston Metrostudy and Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Eric Berger, a Houston-based meteorologist with Space City Weather, will provide the keynote address, “What’s Up with the Weather?”

Buffalo Bayou before and after flood
photo: Bayou Preservation Association

The public is invited to attend with tickets starting at $65, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Sponsorships are still available, and those at the $2000 level and above have the opportunity to attend a pre-event VIP breakfast with elected officials and community leaders.

“We’ll hear from local agencies and others on how we ‘stay awake’ after the Harvey wake-up call and candidly explore options to avoid a similar disaster” said Dr. Sarah P. Bernhardt, the new President and CEO of Bayou Preservation Association.

Buyouts, channel improvements and new construction regulations as well as less discussed options, like basin-to-basin transfers, more regional detention and channel restoration will be examined.

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and Ellen Cohen, Mayor Pro-Tem and Council Member, District C, for the City of Houston, will give the welcoming remarks when the conference kicks off at 8 a.m. after registration and a continental breakfast.

One of the highlights of the Symposium will be an afternoon panel discussion of “Development in the Post Harvey World.” Panel participants includes David Crossley, Senior Fellow and former President/Founder of Houston Tomorrow, Mary Anne Piacentini, President/CEO of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, and Jeff Taebel, Director of Community and Environmental Planning at the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC.)


·         “Harvey Stats and Maps” – Lawrence Dean, Regional Director, Houston Metrostudy

·         “A Comprehensive Approach to Flooding” – Christof Spieler, P.E., LEED AP, Project Manager for Houston Flood Mitigation Consortium

·         “Harvey and Resistance – Community Feedback & Support of Proposed Policies” – Robert M. Stein, Ph.D., Fellow in Urban Policies at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy

·         “Response, Recovery and Resilience – Now the Path Forward After Harvey” – John Blount, P.E., County Engineer, Harris County

·         “Lessons Learned from Harvey . . . So Now What?” – Russ Poppe, P.E., Executive Director, Harris County Flood Control District

·         “Lessons Learned from Harvey . . . So Now What?” – Carol Haddock, P.E., Director, Public Works, City of Houston

·         “What’s Up with the Weather?” (Keynote) – Eric Berger, Meteorologist; Space City Weather

·         “Development in the Post-Harvey World” – Panel discussion

The Symposium has become a sought-after event among key policy makers, planners, scientists and engineers who value the expertise presented throughout the day. About 200 individuals attend each year to learn about emerging water quality issues and to discuss possible solutions.

For registration, tickets and to learn more about becoming an event sponsor, visit the Bayou Preservation Association website at You can also call 713-529-6443 for more details.