Houston Environmental News Update December 28, 2016

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter.

Happy holidays from your friends at the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition!

It’s almost the new year, so now’s a perfect time to invest in the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition.  After all, what are the holidays for if not giving?

We hope you’ll remember all the valuable work the CEC has done in 2016 to connect our environmental community and donate today. With any gift of $40 or more, you will become an Individual Member of the CEC and gain access to some great benefits:

Your gift helps us carry out our mission of fostering education, dialogue, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston/Gulf Coast region.

Through December 31, 2016, donate with PayPal Giving Fund and 101% of your donation will be given directly to the CEC. You can also send a check made out to the CEC to PO Box 702, Houston, TX 77001.

We appreciate your support and look forward to partnering with you to connect our environmental community in 2017!


Rachel Powers
Executive Director


2016wsfflogoFilm Festival January 25 & 26, 2017
Buy tickets at cecfilmfest2017.eventbrite.com! Tickets are now on sale for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour, on January 25 & 26, 2017! We’ll show 24 short films over two nights, including local films.

Help select local films
We will show two local films–one each night–but haven’t decided which films. Watch the choices on YouTube and tell us what you think using this survey.

Sponsor the Film Festival
We are still seeking sponsors for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Download sponsorship information or contact [email protected]

Learn more about the event at cechouston.org, and check out our facebook page for the latest updates.


  1. Christmas Bird Counts. The 117th annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for December 14, 2016 to January 5, 2017. Organized by the National Audubon Society, this all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. The results are compiled into a database that is shared with federal, state, and private authorities. Past data can be viewed at the Audubon’s website. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels. Learn more about the plethora of locations and dates at houstonaudubon.com.
  2. Folk ‘n Oysters. Join Galveston Baykeeper on Dec. 30, 6 pm – 10 pm, for their annual Folk ‘n Oysters event. There will be beer and wine, oysters from the Galveston bay, and more great food and live music. Learn more and purchase tickets at galvestonbaykeeper.org.
  3. Buffalo Bayou Walking Tour. Join American Architecture Association on Dec. 31, starting at 10 am, at the corner of Commerce & Main St. by Allen’s Landing, 1001 Commerce St. Houston TX 77002. This walk will explore the the history and architecture of downtown Houston beginning in 1836, and the efforts to revitalize the central city. Learn more and register at aiahouston.org.
  4. First Day Hikes. What better way to kick off the New Year than by getting a jump start burning off those extra holiday calories in the great outdoors?First-Day-HikesOn New Year’s Day, America’s State Parks have all 50 states offering free, guided First Day Hike Programs. These hikes provide a means for individuals and families to welcome the coming year in the outdoors, exercising and connecting with nature. Learn more about events–including a bird walk, a scavenger hunt, and a bike ride–at Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center and at other state parks at tpwd.texas.gov or  naspd.org.
  5. Vegan New Year’s Day Lunch with Vegan for LifeCelebrate the new year with happy, hungry vegans! On January 1, 2017, Vegan for Life is hosting a buffet lunch at Govinda’s restaurant at 11 a.m. Govinda’s is a very large space and it has a huge parking lot, so we can invite a bunch of current and future vegans. They normally serve both vegan and “vegetarian” fare, but we were told they will go 100% vegan for this event. For only $10.95, you can stuff the face without a care. https://www.facebook.com/events/1286289334762733/
  6. Trees and Tees. Join Galveston Bay Foundation on Jan. 7, 2017, 9 am – 1 pm, at Turtle Bayou Nature Preserve. Help the Galveston community by planting a tree, and get a free T-shirt. Learn more at galvbay.org.
  7. HUG Talk – What to Plant Now w/Tommy Garcia of Finca Tres Robles.  Jan. 9, 2017, 6:30 pm. West Gray Community Center. In summer 2015, Tommy talked to us about getting started at Finca Tres Robles urban organic/permaculture farm & farmstand. It’s been another year & the farm is amazing! If you haven’t seen it lately, you need to!  https://www.facebook.com/events/1196996253685889
  8. Additional Upcoming Events


  1. Houston Stands with Standing Rock. Jan. 3, 2107. Houston Water Protectors will gather for a peaceful, non-violent solidarity action to urge banks to Defund DAPL and stop supporting the violence and human rights violations committed by North Dakota, Morton County, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The action will begin at Bank of America Financial Tower, 700 Louisiana 77002. We will continue to the Wells Fargo Tower, 1000 Louisiana; the Chase Tower, 601 Travis; and close at the Energy Transfer Partners, 1300 Main. https://www.facebook.com/events/1692787451034589/
  2. Clear Creek Clean-ups. The 18th Annual Clear Creek Clean-Up, hosted by the Clear Creek Environmental Foundation, will be on Feb. 11, 2017. Between now and then, CCFC will be hosting weekly pre-cleanups starting Jan. 7 & 8, 2017. http://clearcreekcleanup.org/
  3. Earth2Trump Roadshow. Hosted by the Center for Biological Diversity, the roadshow is rallying and empowering defenders of civil rights and the environment to resist Trump’s dangerous agenda. Stopping in 16 cities on its way to Washington, D.C., it will bring thousands of people to protest at the presidential inauguration. The shows will feature national and local speakers, great musicians, and an opportunity to join a growing movement of resistance to all forms of oppression and all attacks on our environment. Learn more and RSVP at biologicaldiversity.org.
  4. Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Approves 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update. The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) held a public meeting on Friday, December 16th, 2016. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in his role as chair of the Council announced the approval of the Comprehensive Plan Update. This plan was unanimously adopted by the Council, which includes the five Gulf States (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas) and six federal agencies (U.S. Departments of the Interior, Commerce, Agriculture, and Homeland Security, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Army). A recording of the meeting and additional information about both The Comprehensive Plan Update 2016 and the Response to Public Comments can be found on the Council’s website,  www.RestoreTheGulf.gov.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Sunday Evening Conversations on Creation. Christ the King Lutheran Church invites you to a web meeting Jan. 29, 2017 6 pm. Professor Melissa Anne Sutter from Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, will discuss the vital connections that exist between humans and micro-organisms. Please email [email protected] to join the web meeting.
  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.
    • Pronghorn Puzzle
    • Changing Habitats
    • Blanco Cleanup
  9. Additional Upcoming Events