"Running low and slow, appealingly clean and green, Buffalo Bayou seems almost postcard perfect as it rounds a bend near Voss
Road on the city's west side. A bit of wilderness in the city's heart,
it's easy to understand why the state parks department named it
Houston's first paddling trail. All good things, though, must end.
"Bering Ditch is where the good bayou ends.
densely packed neighborhoods on the southwest side, the concrete-lined
drainage ditch's sediment-laden stream stains the emerald bayou brown.
When charged with storm runoff, it vomits fountains of junk — tires,
cans, plastic bags by the hundreds, shopping carts by the score — into
the Bayou City's signature waterway.
"On Monday, workers
from Houston's Bayou Preservation Association, armed with shovels and
togged in heavy boots and waterproof waders, sloshed into what they
call the "shopping cart graveyard" in an effort to remediate decades of
neglect. So severe has the problem become, said association spokesman
Eric Ruckstuhl, that castoff carts and the sandbars they anchor have
transformed this stretch of waterway into an obstacle course for