Balancing Sustainability Priorities with Development in an Urbanizing Watershed

Corinth, Texas

Featured image for the project, Balancing Sustainability Priorities with Development in an Urbanizing Watershed


Corinth, Texas is a city within rapidly urbanizing Denton County and a suburb of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.  As an eight-square mile lake city, the local community is keenly aware of the importance of sound watershed management.  Interstate 35 East bisects the City, with Lake Lewisville, a major source of drinking water, directly to its east.  Recent development on the northeast side of I-35 East has contributed to increased stormwater runoff through Lynchburg Creek, a major tributary to Lake Lewisville.  Lynchburg Creek is located within the Pecan Creek Lewisville Watershed.

The City of Corinth recognizes that development in Denton County is inevitable—an Oxford Economics Forecast estimates that the county will continue to lead as the top county in Texas for economic growth from 2017 through 2021.  The proximity within the Metroplex and availability of vacant land on either side of I-35E makes the area an attractive place for developers.  The City of Corinth anticipates requests from developers to fill-in a portion of the floodplain or alter the floodplain to create a deeper channel. 

As a community, the City is interested to see development move forward in a sustainable manner to protect drinking water and mitigate for increased stormwater.  In the recent past, Corinth has worked with consultants and engineers to examine drainage patterns through hydrologic modeling and risk mapping.  A jointly funded study between the North Central Texas Council of Governments, Shady Shores, City of Corinth and FEMA is nearing completion and will provide a watershed-wide analysis on flooding and possible mitigation strategies.  City staff are now interested to move beyond this phase to aggregate existing data and acquire new data to prepare guidelines for development in and around Lynchburg Creek.  This work will direct the implementation of appropriate control strategies to mitigate stormwater runoff; protect water quality and preserve important landscape features and functions. 


Fred Gibbs, Director of Planning and Development for the City of Corinth and Lori Levy, Senior Planner for the City of Corinth, will serve as the community leads.  The community leads commit to engaging with the scientific partner on this project and providing strategic direction to ensure that the scientific assessment is in line with their vision to manage development in a way that allows for an attractive, sustainable floodplain.

Scientist Wanted

Fred and Lori seek a scientific partner to help the City of Corinth examine and aggregate existing scientific data and reports to recommend best management practices (BMPs) to help the city fine tune its approach to integrated watershed management.  For example, these BMPs, or guidelines, may include increasing landscaping buffers or restricting development in certain areas.  The scientist will also identify where data gaps remain across the watershed.    

The results of this work will serve as the foundation for Corinth’s next comprehensive plan.  

TEX asks all scientific partners to work with the community to help define a project with concrete local impact that they can contribute to as pro-bono volunteers and collaborators.  This work can also position the scientists and communities to seek additional funding, together, for the next stage.



Work will begin as soon as possible (September-October 2017), with an expected duration of 9-12 months.


Desired Skills and Expertise

  • Background in watershed science, geology, hydrology, or environmental engineering
  • Understanding of engineering concepts and fluvial geomorphology relating to erosion and weathering processes
  • Experience working on projects that evaluate urban development pressures on watersheds
  • Ability to translate difficult science terminology to a lay audience
  • Willingness to connect science to local concerns
  • Strong listening and communication skills; values local knowledge
  • Competent and open to new ideas
  • Relaxed, easy going personality with a good sense of humor
  • The scientist should be able to visit the community in-person