We work in collaboration across disciplines and communities and intentionally create multiple points of entry to engage in our work. We see water as a connecting and clarifying force. We seek to form authentic connections in our watershed, and we understand that by addressing water injustices, we may confront and uproot the broader systems sowing injustice.
We are inspired by the dynamism of water and the shape-shifting nature of our bayous and their floodplains. As keepers of the waters, we embrace movement and adaptability in our work. Reciprocity is also central in our relationships with people and nature.
We know that dominant methods and tools for protecting water and community health have not worked in this region. We have hard conversations, disrupt systems that have not worked, create new frameworks, bring together unconventional allies, and transform data and research into action. We are not afraid to use the justice system to fight for water justice. We give people a voice and build power through the legal system, policy, science, and resources.
We recognize and call out inequities in our watershed arising from historic injustices and disinvestments. We know that frontline communities are experts in their own experiences and amplify their voices through the knowledge and resources they need to protect their waterways, homes, neighborhoods, access to nature, and infrastructure. We seek justice for our community and our waterways.
We build the world that we want through our everyday actions. We make space for rest and rejuvenation in our work and relationships, internally, through our policies, practices, and externally, through partnerships and programs. As we work to repair systemic harms, we also recognize that water is a site for healing, joy, celebration, reflection, and growth. By allowing ourselves to imagine what we really want, we create new visions, transitioning our world into the one we want.
Our region has lived through unprecedented storm surges, high winds, and widespread flooding from hurricanes and heavy rainstorms. Amplifying the worst effects of these large storms are the region’s longtime underinvestment in forward-thinking flood prevention, lax attitude toward land-use regulation, and historic red-lining practices, which have driven over-development of ecologically-sensitive wetlands, which soak up floodwaters and cleanse local water, have been destroyed at an alarming rate.
Home to the most diverse population in the country, our largely coastal, ecologically-diverse, low-lying area offers an early model of how a region may confront climate change —and not just survive, but thrive, over the rest of the century. With record-setting storms on the rise, communities and decision-makers recognize that long- term sustainability requires dramatic action — and that action must be felt equitably across the region because flooding, stormwater infrastructure, and water quality are inherently social equity issues.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Justice, and Equity
To accomplish its mission and lead from within, Bayou City Waterkeeper must be responsive to the needs of the community we serve. To that end, we are committed to embracing differences in race, gender, ethnicity, class, ability, religion and sexual orientation. We value people of all experiences, backgrounds and perspectives, and are dedicated to an organizational culture based on respect, inclusiveness, integrity, honesty and anti-oppression. We hold these values to ensure that marginalized and oppressed communities receive our attention and services when confronted with environmental issues.
We commit to celebrating diversity, working for justice, and advocating for equity in all we do.
- We believe justice, diversity, and equity are essential to our mission: Inclusion fosters the involvement of all persons and organizations that share our vision for a healthy planet.
- Environmental justice and equity-based values elevates the truth that everyone has the right to experience nature and have access to clean water, clean air, clean soil, and a safe environment.
We acknowledge that in order to be a truly diverse and inclusive organization we must exercise commitment to these goals within issue advocacy, our governance, and our internal and external relationships. We strive to be accessible and inclusive. Our vision is for our staff, leaders, volunteers, and supporters to reflect the diversity of our region. We are committed to recruit, engage, support and cultivate leadership from all communities in our work and activities. In an ongoing effort, we will build and integrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion into our conservation initiatives, program strategies, outreach, workforce, structure, budget, governance, communications and the overall culture of the organization.