[107th Congress Public Law 337]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]

[DOCID: f:publ337.107]

[[Page 116 STAT. 2883]]

Public Law 107-337
107th Congress

                                 An Act

To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and 
feasibility of establishing the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area in 
      west Houston, Texas. <<NOTE: Dec. 16, 2002 -  [H.R. 1776]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Buffalo Bayou National 
Heritage Area Study Act.>>  assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area 
Study Act''.


    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The area beginning at Shepherd Drive in west Houston, 
        Texas, and extending to the Turning Basin, commonly referred to 
        as the ``Buffalo Bayou'', made a unique contribution to the 
        cultural, political, and industrial development of the United 
            (2) The Buffalo Bayou is distinctive as the first spine of 
        modern industrial development in Texas and one of the first 
        along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
            (3) The Buffalo Bayou played a significant role in the 
        struggle for Texas independence.
            (4) The Buffalo Bayou developed a prosperous and productive 
        shipping industry that survives today.
            (5) The Buffalo Bayou led in the development of Texas' 
        petrochemical industry that made Houston the center of the early 
        oil boom in America.
            (6) The Buffalo Bayou developed a sophisticated shipping 
        system, leading to the formation of the modern day Houston Ship 
            (7) The Buffalo Bayou developed a significant industrial 
        base, and served as the focal point for the new city of Houston.
            (8) There is a longstanding commitment by the Buffalo Bayou 
        Partnership, Inc., to complete the Buffalo Bayou Trail along the 
        12-mile segment of the Buffalo Bayou.
            (9) There is a need for assistance for the preservation and 
        promotion of the significance of the Buffalo Bayou as a system 
        for transportation, industry, commerce, and immigration.
            (10) The Department of the Interior is responsible for 
        protecting the Nation's cultural and historical resources. There 
        are significant examples of such resources within the Buffalo

[[Page 116 STAT. 2884]]

        Bayou region to merit the involvement of the Federal Government 
        in the development of programs and projects, in cooperation with 
        the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Inc., the State of Texas, and 
        other local and governmental entities, to adequately conserve, 
        protect, and interpret this heritage for future generations, 
        while providing opportunities for education and revitalization.

    (b) Study.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall, in consultation with 
        the State of Texas, the City of Houston, and other appropriate 
        organizations, carry out a study regarding the suitability and 
        feasibility of establishing the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage 
        Area in Houston, Texas.
            (2) Contents.--The study shall include analysis and 
        documentation regarding whether the Study Area--
                    (A) has an assemblage of natural, historic, and 
                cultural resources that together represent distinctive 
                aspects of American heritage worthy of recognition, 
                conservation, interpretation, and continuing use, and 
                are best managed through partnerships among public and 
                private entities and by combining diverse and sometimes 
                noncontiguous resources and active communities;
                    (B) reflects traditions, customs, beliefs, and 
                folklife that are a valuable part of the national story;
                    (C) provides outstanding opportunities to conserve 
                natural, historic, cultural, or scenic features;
                    (D) provides outstanding recreational and 
                educational opportunities;
                    (E) contains resources important to the identified 
                theme or themes of the Study Area that retain a degree 
                of integrity capable of supporting interpretation;
                    (F) includes residents, business interests, 
                nonprofit organizations, and local and State governments 
                that are involved in the planning, have developed a 
                conceptual financial plan that outlines the roles for 
                all participants, including the Federal Government, and 
                have demonstrated support for the concept of a national 
                heritage area;
                    (G) has a potential management entity to work in 
                partnership with residents, business interests, 
                nonprofit organizations, and local and State governments 
                to develop a national heritage area consistent with 
                continued local and State economic activity; and
                    (H) has a conceptual boundary map that is supported 
                by the public.

    (c) Boundaries of the Study Area.--The Study Area shall be comprised 
of sites in Houston, Texas, in an area roughly bounded by Shepherd Drive 
and extending to the Turning Basin, commonly referred to as the 
``Buffalo Bayou''.
    (d) <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>>  Submission of Study Results.--Not 
later than 3 years after funds are first made available for this 
section, the Secretary

[[Page 116 STAT. 2885]]

shall submit to the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the 
Senate a report describing the results of the study.

    Approved December 16, 2002.


HOUSE REPORTS: No. 107-256 (Comm. on Resources).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 107-262 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
                                                        Vol. 147 (2001):
                                    Oct. 30, considered and passed 
                                                        Vol. 148 (2002):
                                    Nov. 19, considered and passed