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Clear Lake Completes Phases 1-5 of Exploration Green

<strong><u>Clear Lake Completes Phases 1-5 of Exploration Green</u></strong>

Houston, Texas — Clear Lake City Water Authority (CLCWA) has completed all five phases of Exploration Green, a massive 178-acre flood control project in southeast Houston. CLCWA and Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., (LAN) will celebrate the completion of this monumental work with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Saturday, September 30, 2023, on the project grounds at the intersection of Reseda Drive and Diana Lane.

Exploration Green, named in honor of the community’s local exploration legacy and its proximity to Johnson Space Center, transformed a former golf course into five massive detention ponds that can each hold 100 million gallons of stormwater (the equivalent of 750 Olympic-sized swimming pools.) In addition, Exploration Green will also serve as a nature park comprising 153 acres of natural habitat with wetlands and native grassland areas, 6 miles of hike-and-bike trails, two athletic fields and other amenities. 

“We understand the importance of flood control measures and are dedicated to implementing innovative solutions that will contribute to the long-term resilience and safety of the surrounding communities,” according to Kelly Shipley, P.E., Senior Associate LAN.

Clear Lake City Water Authority (CLCWA), the local provider of water, sewage collection and treatment, and storm drainage services, is spearheading the project. Exploration Green Conservancy, Inc., a non-profit organization, is serving as CLCWA’s partner to develop and preserve the project’s green spaces. Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam, Inc. (LAN), a national planning, engineering and program management firm, is the project’s design engineer.

“Exploration Green has performed as designed and has impressively improved flooding conditions for the surrounding Clear Lake community,” said Jennifer Morrow, CLCWA’s general manager.

Building the detention ponds has turned out to be immensely beneficial to the community. During Hurricane Harvey, although only 80 percent of the Phase 1 pond was excavated at the time of the hurricane, it helped detain 100 million gallons of water, protecting at least 150 homes from flooding. The project also protected the community during Tropical Storms Imelda and Beta. Ultimately, now that all five phases are completed, Exploration Green will protect up to 3,000 homes.

“Exploration Green has transformed Clear Lake from a flood-prone community into one of the most flood-resilient communities in Texas,” said Wayne Swafford, P.E., LAN’s president. “In addition, it is creating a healthy, sustainable neighborhood for its residents.”