Significant economic development opportunities exist along the vast Greens Bayou watershed, and GBCC is engaged in efforts to develop those opportunities. Economic industry can’t bloom without solid infrastructure. The GBCC is currently seeking support for a regional wastewater treatment facility near the Port of Houston. A feasibility study has been completed with partnerships from Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority, area industry and the Texas Water Development Board. If successfully implemented this facility would lower developer costs for building in the area and make new development more feasible.
While new infrastructure is on the agenda, much is already in place. The Greens Bayou corridor is minutes from Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport, making it an ideal location for companies conducting business locally and around the globe. A new cold storage facility at the airport makes Houston a destination for temperature and time-sensitive air cargo. The 61,484-square-foot facility is equipped to handle every aspect of shipping and receiving perishable imports flown into Houston from international markets.
Transportation is key to a strong business community. Along with international air access, the corridor encompasses numerous freeways, making it easy and fast to commute to areas throughout Houston. And access by sea is delivered via the Houston Ship Channel, home to one of the nation’s busiest ports.
The Greens Bayou watershed empties into the Port of Houston, a 25-mile-long complex that is just a short sail from the Gulf of Mexico. The port incorporates the Port of Houston Authority and more than 150 private industrial companies along the Houston Ship Channel. And it’s set to boom. A plan to widen the Panama Canal’s locks will triple the canal’s capacity by 2014. Once the project is complete, the new locks will give massive Asian container cargo ships an all-water route to Houston. Currently, the largest cargo ships from Asia unload on the U.S. West Coast or travel via the Suez Canal to the East Coast because they don’t want to travel around South America and the canal’s current locks do not accommodate these vessels. Due to Houston’s central location, this new option will be a boon for the area and any company that needs to ship cargo across the country.
With the completion of a Paddle Trail Strategic Plan at the end of 2014 in partnership with the National Park Service, Greens Bayou Corridor Coalition is set to bring a 27.5 mile water trail to the region. Tourism dollars are a growing, and important source, of economic growth in the metropolitan area.