Houston Environmental News Update November 23, 2016

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter.
 640px-kalkun_meleagris_gallopavoYou care about our environment–whether it’s our air, water, energy, plants, animals, or the future. If you are reading CEC’s newsletter, you probably care about all of them. We are grateful that you are part of our community, and for everything you are doing to protect and improve our environment. It is your concern for our environmental community that motivates the CEC to continue its important work. On behalf of the CEC, thank you for caring and making a difference!
With the support of readers like you, the CEC has been able to
  • Send our weekly newsletter to almost 5,000 readers
  • Publicize numerous environmental job openings and events each week on our website
  • Host, to great acclaim, our two big annual events–the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour and the Greater Houston Environmental Summit

These are just a few of the many ways we support the Houston/Gulf Coast environmental community–but we have much more to do! You play a vital role in each of our successes. You can support our work in many ways: share the newsletter with friends, attend our events (such as the film festival), or make a donation (using paypal or by sending a check to CEC, PO Box 702, Houston, TX 77001). We are grateful for your support.


  1. 2016wsfflogoTickets make great gifts!
    Tickets are now on sale for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour, on January 25 & 26, 2017! We’ll show 12 different short films each night, including local films. If you don’t want to wait, buy your ticket now. (For one day only, on #GivingTuesday, we’ll have a special $5 discount if you use the code “GivingTuesday”.) Festival tickets make great gifts! https://cecfilmfest2017.eventbrite.com.
  2. Welcome New Subscribers!

    We finally sat down and entered the email addresses of the many people who signed up for our newsletter in the past few months. Thank you for your interest in environmental opportunities in the Houston region!


  1. Vegan for Life Monthly Meeting. Vegan for Life is having its monthly meeting this Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016, at 7 p.m. at Central Market (3815 Westheimer Rd, Houston, Texas 77027) in the community room. The meeting is limited to one hour, followed by socializing on the patio (or the indoor dining area). To get to the community room, go in the entrance closest to Westheimer and immediately turn left. Go to the second floor, pass the area with tables, and turn left onto the internal balcony. This meeting will include a lot of open discussion about strategies and tactics for animal activism. Learn more at vegan-for-life.org.
  2. Mayor’s Green Building Tour. Join the City of Houston Traffic Operations Divisions for this LEED Certified Gold building tour on Monday, Nov. 28, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, at 2200 Patterson St. Event starts at 3:15 with a LEED Plaque Dedication by Houston’s Mayor Sylvester Turner. Small group guided tours start at 4 pm. If you have questions, email Steve Steltzer at [email protected] Visit greenhoustontx.gov for more information.
  3. HGOC – Food Composting. The Houston Green Office Challenge will present this workshop on Nov. 29, 11 am – 1 pm, at Two Allen Center. This interactive workshop will teach how to start composting at your facility, track waste diversion and cost savings, and train employees to promote an effective programs, and to test a pilot food testing program in downtown Houston. Learn more at houstongoc.org, and reserve your spot on eventbrite.
  4. Strategies To Stop Illegal Disposal. Houston-Galveston Area Council invites you to this lecture on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, 10 am to noon, at the H-GAC Offices. This event is free and open to anyone who has a problem with illegal disposal of tires in their communities and neighborhood. This lecture will help you learn how to focus your efforts on preventing tire dumping, rather than cleaning them up. RSVP by Nov. 29, 2016, by emailing Erin Livingson at [email protected], or calling 832-681-2525. Attendess are encouraged to bring their own mugs and cups for coffee and water. Visit h-gac.com for more information about the organization.
  5. Native Landscaping and Restoration in the Houston-Gulf Coast Region. This landscaping seminar will be hosted Dec. 1, 2016, 9 am – 12 pm, at the Houston Zoo Auditorium, 6200 Hermann Park Dr., Houston TX 77050 . This seminar can count towards 2.5 CE hours, and will have presentations and roundtable Q&1 on native plants, pollinators, and processes with experts from the Wildlife Refuge, The Native Conservancy, Native American Seed, and other local organizations. Click here for a full itinerary. Email [email protected] for more information on how to register.
  6. HGOC: Make Your Benchmarking Routine. Dec. 1, 2016, 10 am – 2 pm, at the Kirksey Architecture, 6909 Portwest Dr., Houston TX 77024. Join Houston Green Office Challenge for this interactive workshop on how to benchmark whole-building energy and water use, basic and advanced energy analysis methods, utilize data and programs. Please RSVP here if you want to attend.
  7. HGOC: Community Solar and Grey Water Reuse Development. This bus tour will be hosted Dec. 5, 2016, 9 am – 3 pm, meeting at Memorial Dr. Presbysterian Church, 11612 Memorial Dr, Houston TX 77024. This interactive tour to Sealy and Fulshear will teach how water resuse impacts a community, what a community solar field looks like, and how solar energy can benefit you and your community. Please register here.
  8. Gulf Coast Green 2017 Call for Presenters. Deadline December 5, 2016. After 12 successful years, the Gulf Coast Green Symposium and Expo has proven to be the leading green building conference in the Gulf Coast region.  We are seeking presenters from architecture, engineering, interior design, education, the arts, planning, contracting, energy analysis, and other building-related professions for our March 27, 2017, event relevant to the conference theme: The Science of Sustainability. Learn more at aiahouston.org.
  9. Holiday with the Cranes. As Sandhill Cranes begin to arrive on Galveston Island to roost and forage, the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council opens registration for Holiday with the Cranes. Dec. 10 – 11, 2016. Several of the events sell out  quickly so learn more and sign up soon at www.galvestonnaturetourism.org.
  10. SCA Seeks School Year Conservation crew. SCA Houston Community Programs aim to build the next generation of conservation leaders and environmental stewards by getting local Houston youth out into their community and environment to do hands-on service to the land. The School-Year Program is voluntary and occurs on weekends, from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. During the course of the School-Year Program, youth attend five camping weekends at parks and nature areas around Houston. Applicants must be 15-19 years of age and be enrolled in school. Learn more at www.thesca.org.
  11. Call for Donated Auction Items. The Houston Regional Group of the Sierra Club will be hosting their Annual Auction on Dec. 8, 2016. They are seeking auction items to be donated as early as possible. For more information about the auction and how to donate, please contact one of the following: Frank Blake at [email protected] or 713-528-2896 (central Houston); Art Browning at [email protected] or 281-728-6327 (Cypress area), or Lorraine Gibson at 281-384-4104, or [email protected] (Pearland area).  Visit sierraclub.org. for more information.
  12. Galveston Installs its First Beach Free-Cycle Center. On November 15, the Galveston Marine Debris Task Force (MDTF), made up of local governments and NGOs, as well as other stakeholders held a ribbon- cutting ceremony to celebrate the installation of the first of six recycling stations, called Beach Free-Cycle Centers, on Galveston Island Beaches. The Hilton Worldwide-Travel with a Purpose Grant and the Harris and Elize Kempner Foundation provided funds for the recycling stations. The stations provide a mechanism for the public to recycle plastic bottles, aluminum cans, monofilament fishing line, and beach accessories. Once all six recycling stations are installed, Galveston Park Board of Trustees staff will collect data on collection rates in order to make comparisons with the baseline information collected throughout 2016. Learn more at www.gulfofmexicoalliance.org.
  13. Gulf Coast: Focus on Advocacy Happy Hour. This happy hour, on Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, will offer interested organizations, local policy makers, and Houston-area state legislators the opportunity to learn more about USGBC Texas‘ missions and goals as we approach the 85th legislative session. The event will be held at Station Houston, Houston’s brand-new CoWorking, Accelerator, Technology Community and Innovation Hub, 1301 Fannin St. Register by Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at usgbctexas.wildapricot.org.
  14. Deadline Extended: San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site. On Sep. 28, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed removing the dioxin-contaminated wastes from the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site. The Galveston Bay Foundation enthusiastically applauds that proposed plan because removal is the only correct and permanent cleanup solution, while no containment alternative can be shown to reliably contain the waste over a long-term basis. However, the battle has not been won just yet and GBF needs your help! The EPA will base their final decision in part on comments it receives during the official public comment period that began on Sep. 29 and ends at midnight on January 12, 2017.  GBF encourages you to send your official comments supporting EPA’s plan to remove the dioxin waste TODAY, but be sure to send in your comments by Nov. 28. Visit GBF’s  Remove San Jacinto River Toxic Waste webpage to learn more about the issue, learn how to comment, and review sample comments.
  15. Additional Upcoming Events


  1. UH Energy Symposium: Shale Development in Texas. UH Energy is partnering with the TAMEST (The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas) Shale Task Force to host a provocative panel discussion on six impact areas of shale development in Texas: land, air, water, seismicity, transportation, socio-economy. Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, at 5:30. Learn more at www.uh.edu/uh-energy.
  2. Documentary: Big Men. Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016, at Sundance Cinemas. Big Men is a documentary about a small Texas-based start-up exploration company called Kosmos Energy. With unprecedented access, the crew captured the inside scoop as Kosmos developed their first commercial oil field in Ghana’s history. The crew also filmed in the swamps of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, following the exploits of a militant gang to reveal a lesser-known side of oil’s economy. Hosted by the Young Professionals of the World Affairs Council of Greater Houston. Learn more and purchase tickets at www.wachouston.org.
  3. WEBINAR: Restoring the Carbon Budget, Session 1. This webinar will be hosted Dec. 15, 2016, 12 pm – 1:30 CST. This webinar will discuss the capacity of the Earth’s atmosphere to safely hold excess carbon without too much warming. Join Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Security Forum in the first of a three part series. Panelists will include Jeffry Sachs, David Biello, and Kevin Anderson. For more information about the panelists and to join the webinar, register here.
  4. Plan Houston 2016 Plan Survey and Update. In 2015, Houston’s City Council took the groundbreaking step of adopting the city’s first general plan, Plan Houston. The Plan describes a vision and goals for our community and identifies twelve core strategies that represent the City’s approach for achieving the vision. The City of Houston is now actively working towards achieving the community goals laid out in Plan Houston. The next step is to understand the community’s interests so that policy makers can consider them as they develop City priorities for the next budget year. The City’s next fiscal year begins July 1, 2017. Your input, coupled with Plan Houston’s strategic guidance, ensures that the City will use its limited resources in the most effective means possible to improve our community. You can share your thoughts on what the City should be focusing on by responding to a brief survey. Learn more and take the survey at planhouston.org/
  5. NOAA Marine Debris Research Federal Funding Opportunity. Deadline: December 19, 2016. NOAA’s Marine Debris Program is pleased to announce the FY2017 Marine Debris Research Federal Funding Opportunity. Proposals are due December 19, 2016. The announcement can be found on Grants.gov at www.grants.gov.
  6. 2017 NFWF GEBF Project Solicitation. The Texas Trustee agencies (GLO, TPWD and TCEQ) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) are in the process of soliciting projects for the 2017 funding cycle from the Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund. During the next funding cycle (2017), there is approximately $37 million available for new projects in Texas. Learn more at www.restorethetexascoast.org. Deadlines begin on January 3, 2017.
  7. Texas Sea Grant Seeking Proposals. The proposals can come from investigators from ALL Texas universities and colleges. Non-profits, non-academic institutions,for profit organizations; state, local and Native American tribal governments are also eligible. Grant rewards will support outcome-oriented researchs that spans broad areas of natural, physical, social, behavioral, and economic sciences and engineering, will improve the understanding, wise use and stewardship of Texas’ coastal and marine resources. Proposals will aim to generate substantial social, economic, and environmental impacts in Texas. Funding priorities are now in development. Please complete the survey here. For more information on how to apply for the grant, visit texasgrant.org. Pre-proposal due date is Jan. 20, 2017. Full proposal due date is April 3, 2017. Award period is February 1, 2018 – January 31, 2020.
  8. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife. Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3:00 PM each Saturday and on municipal access cable channels in Baytown, Deer Park, Houston, Texas City, Galveston, Nassau Bay, Pasadena, Seabrook, Sugar Land, and on HCC TV. More info on the TPWD website (* indicates a segment about the Houston area). For a preview, visit TPWD’s YouTube Page.
    • Traveling Turkeys
    • Wild Teachers
    • Saving Sharks
  9. Additional Upcoming Events