TEXAS GEMS -ARMAND BAYOU COASTAL PRESERVE & NATURE CENTER
Armand Bayou Nature Center & Preserve covering a total of 2800 acres (Preserve = 300 acres; Nature Center = 2500 acres) is a unique, valuable ecosystem. It is of high ecological and socioeconomic value to the area. It is located southeastern Harris County, along Armand Bayou,
Area of Influence:
Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes;4c- Upland Prairies and Woods (Ecoregions and Sub-regions of Texas). 12040204- West Bay/West Galveston Bay/Armand Bayou, (USGS Hydrologic Units, Texas Maps), Watershed includes southern portion of the City of Pasadena, with main channel of Armand Bayou running just off Red Bluff Road to reach mouth at Clear Lake.
The preserve is within the Gulf Prairies and Marshes ecological region of Texas. The region is characterized by large prairies transected by narrow wooded stream bottoms with scattered fresh and saline lakes, ponds, and marshes. The brackish water bayou bounded by riparian hardwood forest is surrounded by 900 acres of remnant coastal prairie currently under restoration.
The species best known in the preserve and nature center are the American alligator and osprey, along with extensive areas of native prairie, including big bluestem, little bluestem, and Indiangrass.
Little bluestem-brownseed paspalum series (a tallgrass grassland)
Important stopover and breeding area for neo-tropical migrant birds. Important wintering area for northern migrant bird species. Much fish life migration in and out of the bayou system.
The Bayou and its watershed support biota and remnant habitats that were present during a more pristine era. It also functions as a flood control system, riparian habitat, and water quality mitigation area.Uniqueness of Natural Community:
The Bayous uniqueness is that of a remnant natural system still existing within a heavily developed, densely populated region. Fragments of relic coastal prairie and riparian woodland remain along its watershed.Archaeological and Cultural Significance:
Several significant Native American sites on property.Current and Potential Use of the Site Recreational Use:
Fishing, crabbing, hiking, and birding.Commercial Use:
Fishing, crabbing, and some minimal logging and hay cutting as part of prairie restoration efforts.
Property owned by Harris County and leased to Armand Bayou Nature Center, a non-profit organization, to manage as a nature preserve and educational facility for the public. Armand Bayou Coastal Preserve is leased from the General Land Office (GLO) by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
One of four Texas coastal preserves set up by the Texas General Land Office (GLO) and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.Management Status:
Much of the property is left in its natural state with no further management. Management includes prairie restoration, marsh restoration on the bayou, wetlands enhancement and restoration where appropriate.Existing Monitoring Activities:
Seagrass projects, water quality, fisheries monitoring.
Threats to Ecological Integrity:
Channelization and development projects within the watershed.Management Potential:
Prairie management must be continued aggressively or natural grasslands will be lost to non-native plant encroachment (Chinese tallow).
Source of Information
Management Plan for Armand Bayou Coastal Preserve, Harris County, Texas