Prairie Conservation Initiative
The Prairie Conservation Initiative's objective is restoration and preservation of tens of thousands of acres of coastal prairie remnants that comprise the One Prairie throughout the eight counties in the RCP.
Prairie ecosystems are vital habitats for Monarch butterflies and other pollinators throughout our region. Through the recognition that a collaborative effort was needed to focus on the preservation and creation of monarch butterfly and other pollinator habitat in the region, the Gulf-Houston Monarch Flyway Strategy was created.
The coastal prairie of Texas and Louisiana is one of the most imperiled and biologically diverse ecosystems in the United States. It is also an ecosystem with deep roots in our local culture, economy, and history.
Houston-area conservation organizations are scrambling to acquire the last remaining pristine coastal prairie remnants, to restore degraded prairie to a higher ecological quality, and to educate the general public about the value and important cultural connections between Houstonians and their native grassland. The complexity and expense of these challenges mandates a new level of collaboration between federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, and private landowners. In truth, we are all trying to save and restore different parts of One Prairie - now is the time to work together on this difficult but critical task and to share resources with each other to ensure successful outcomes.
The PCI is a multi-year, collaborative effort to safeguard coastal prairie remnants of the Greater Houston Region and to work jointly to secure the necessary manpower, equipment, and communications resources that are needed to save coastal prairies throughout the Greater Houston Region. PCI meetings are coordinated by Houston Wilderness in consultation with the Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP) – an organization dedicated to creating strong networks and visioning for the local prairie community. Our work involves energizing and pairing conservation partners to secure collaborative acquisition and restoration funding (through RESTORE Act funding and beyond), to exchange timely restoration research and methods, and to provide resources for prairie education and mass communication.
The work of the PCI stems from the 2015 Prairie Conservation Assessment (PCA) process. In 2015, the Coastal Prairie Partnership conducted a year-long assessment of the prairie community (of Greater Houston) to determine critical bottlenecks to generating more prairie conservation, restoration, and education. The PCA outlines steps needed to break those bottlenecks and safeguard our prairies for future generations.
Watch the video below to learn more about how prairie partners are working to save the prairie: