Urban

From the west and south of Lake Houston, the watersheds become moderately to densely developed toward Interstate 610 Loop around downtown Houston. The watersheds in the southern half of the San Jacinto River Basin contain a wide mix of land uses ranging from residential and commercial to industrial. There is very little open space except for city, county and community parks. Some of the larger parks include Bear Creek Park, Bush Park (both also serve as major floodwater detention), Memorial Park and the Katy Prairie Preserve in the Buffalo Bayou Above Tidal watershed. Hermann Park, which surrounds the Houston Zoo, is located next to the Texas Medical Center, southwest of downtown, in the Houston Ship Channel/Buffalo Bayou watershed. Deussen Park is a recreational facility near the outlet of Lake Houston. Sheldon Reservoir and an adjacent state natural area are located just to the southwest of Deussen Park. There are several other wildlife refuges along the coastal region, as well. Recreational activities, such as canoeing, are prevalent on the lakes as well as along Spring Creek, Cypress Creek, Buffalo Bayou and its major tributaries. The mixed residential and commercial uses are most dense inside the Interstate 610 Loop. Development has moved outward from the downtown central business district toward and beyond the Sam Houston Tollway (Beltway). Here, development is generally less dense than inside the Loop, and there are extensive single-family and multi-family residential developments as well as strip center and other commercial developments west of the Beltway. Industrial facilities are more common east of the central business district.

Other large business districts in the region include the Greenspoint area, in the Greens Bayou Above Tidal watershed near the North Beltway and Interstate 45, and the Galleria and Greenway Plaza areas, both in the Buffalo Bayou Above Tidal watershed, inside Loop 610, north of Highway 59.

New development, primarily residential and commercial, is currently increasing in the Cypress Creek, Spring Creek and Lake Creek watersheds, as well as farther west in the Buffalo Bayou Above Tidal watershed in the Katy area. In addition, development continues to move southwest along the U.S. Highway 59 corridor, which is currently being expanded. Much of this southwest development is in the Brazos River Basin, outside H-GAC's Clean Rivers Program watersheds.

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