Houston Environmental News Update July 11, 2018

The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition is celebrating this week: the organization was incorporated 47 years ago, on July 14, 1971.
At the time, it was difficult to keep track of the few dozen organizations doing environmental work in the Houston area. To help people stay connected, the CEC published a monthly newsletter that included a calendar of events and a phone list for our member organizations. CEC also hosted events to bring people together to learn about and advocate for environmental issues and opportunities.
CEC is still working to connect our environmental community–through publications like this newsletter, and through events like next week’s showing of the film STRAWS and the Greater Houston Environmental Summit on August 10, 2018 (more info is below). And we keep you connected with well over 100 organizations that are members of the CEC.
Help us celebrate! Please attend one of our upcoming events, share the newsletter with a friend, volunteer, or support us with a financial contribution. How about $47 dollars–one for each year of CEC?


Houston Green Film Series: STRAWS
Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners for STRAWS (in recognition of Plastic Free July) on Wednesday, July 18, 2018. It’s estimated that daily more than 500,000,000 plastic straws are used once and tossed in the U.S. alone. They’re non-recyclable, so they wind up in landfills, litter streets and add to the estimated 8.5 million metric tons of plastic debris in oceans annually. Linda Booker’s Straws, with animation narrated by actor Tim Robbins, provides a clear understanding of the problems caused by plastic pollution and empowers individuals to be part of the solution (watch the trailer). Arrive at 6:30 p.m. for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7 p.m. For more information, see the Facebook event.

Please save the date–or even better, register–for CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Annually, CEC hosts a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region.

This year’s program includes:

  • Excellent Featured Speakers — See the full descriptions.
    • Staying Resilient – Recovery of Attwater’s Prairie Chickens post-Harvey,
      Jennifer Romero, Asst. Refuge Manager, Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR &
      Hannah Bailey, Curator of Birds, Houston Zoo
    • How Unusual Was Harvey, and Will It Stay That Way?
      John W Nielsen-Gammon, PhD, Texas A&M & Texas State Climatologist
    • A Green Shield: Using Nature to Rebuild a More Resilient Houston for People and Wildlife,
      Jaime González, Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager, The Nature Conservancy
    • Soil – We Treat It Like Dirt,
      Glen Miracle, Local Farmer & Practitioner of Regenerative Agriculture, Laughing Frog Farm
    • The “Whys” of Water Conservation After Harvey,
      Paula Paciorek, Water Resources Manager, Galveston Bay Foundation,
    • Resiliency Planning in Houston: Understanding Chronic Health Issues from Harvey, Elena Craft, PhD, Sr Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
    • Rebuilding a Resilient Houston
      April Ward, AIA Assoc., LEED GCP, Executive Director, Living Paradigm CDC
    • How to Push Back on the Cumulative Impacts of Environmental Hazards Faced by Vulnerable Communities in Houston, Amy Dinn, Managing Attorney, Lone Star Legal Aid
    • Summarizing Hurricane Harvey’s Environmental Impacts – the Harvey Map, Stephanie Glenn, PhD, Program Director, Hydrology & Watersheds, HARC
  • Table Talks: Small group discussions with experts on a variety of topics related to our post-Harvey theme, including impacts on our air and water quality, environmental justice initiatives, wildlife and landscape conservation, and efforts to build resiliency for our future.  A cross between a breakout session and speed networking. See full descriptions of table talk hosts.
    • Disaster Recovery & Reuse: Lessons from Recent Storms to Help Lessen Impacts on Landfills
      Keith Koski, Manager, City of Houston Building Materials Reuse Warehouse
    • What Grade Would You Give Galveston Bay’s Health?
      T’Noya Thompson, Report Card Coordinator, Galveston Bay Foundation
    • Sea Turtles, Dune Restoration, and Plastic Bags…
      Joanie Steinhaus, Campaign Director, Gulf of Mexico, Turtle Island Restoration Network
    • From Crisis Comes Opportunity
      Anton Edwards, Acquisition Specialist, Avenue C.D.C.
    • Media matters
      Matthew Tresaugue, Manager, Houston Air Quality Media Initiative, Environmental Defense Fund & One Breath Partnership
    • Harvey the Hurricane Hawk and Others…
      Anja Machado, Executive Director, TWRC Wildlife Center
    • How to Push Back on the Cumulative Impacts of Environmental Hazards Faced by Vulnerable Communities in Houston: 1) Confronting Nuisances; 2) Permit Challenges; 3) Zoning When there is no Zoning
      Amy Dinn, Managing Attorney, Environmental Justice Team, Lone Star Legal Aid
    • Citizen Science: Microplastics in the Galveston Bay Area
      Theresa Morris, Gulf Program Coordinator, Turtle Island Restoration Network
    • The Harvey Map – More on Environmental Impacts
      Erin Kinney, PhD, Research Scientist, Coastal Ecology, HARC
  • Exhibit tables from CEC member groups and local businesses. (See the registration page to reserve your exhibit table.)
  • Delicious, locally-grown food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen.
  • A few surprises 🙂

We are grateful to the following sponsors:

Coastal Environments, Inc. & Moore Archaeological Consulting, which are dedicated to the concept of planning for future development, based upon the scientific understanding and aesthetic appreciation of our natural and cultural resources. Through combining the talents of a diverse team of specialists with extensive experience in applied research and planning, we are able to serve government, industry, and private-sector clients throughout the Gulf Coast.

TRUEGRID, which works to challenge conventional thinking and disrupt traditional paving methods; to ultimately create a better, cleaner, less toxic environment for our kids.

Further event details are provided on the Eventbrite Registration page.

CEC Seeks Board & Committee Members

The CEC is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our 2019 Board of Directors and on board committees (programs, publications, membership, governance, finance, and development). Our Governance Committee will be hosting informational open house for potential board members July 31, September 24, and October 22, 2018. If you are interested, please send an email with your résumé to [email protected]

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.


We have tried to confirm the events listed below, but not all organizations have updated their websites. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

  1. Harris County Flood Control District Bond Program meetings
    Harris County Commissioners Court will hold a bond election on August 25, 2018, for the Harris County Flood Control District. Registered voters in Harris County will be asked to vote on up to $2.5 billion in bonds for flood risk reduction projects throughout the county. HCFCD is hosting a series of community engagement meetings, geared toward the county’s various watersheds, to gather input in order prepare an effective flood damage reduction program for the region at hcfcd.org. Numerous community engagement meetings are being held, including:

    • July 17, El Franco Lee Community Center (Clear Creek)
    • July 18, Klein ISD Multipurpose Center (Willow Creek)
    • July 19, May Community Center (Cedar Bayou)
  2. Texas Sierra Club Houston Group: It’s Dolphin Time!
    On July 12, 2018, from 7:30-9 p.m., the Texas Sierra Club’s Houston Group will hold its monthly meeting, featuring a presentation by Kristi Fazioli, research associate with the Environmental Institute of Houston at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, on current research on Galveston Bay’s bottlenose dolphins, including life history, environmental and anthropogenic threats, conservation efforts, management tools and the impacts of Hurricane Harvey. The meeting will be held in Pecore Hall of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1805 W. Alabama Drive. For more information, visit sierraclub.org.
  3. Texas City Prairie preserve Volunteer Workday
    On July 13, 2018 from 8:30-11:30 a.m., the Nature Conservancy will be hosting a volunteer workday to protect the coastal prairie lands at the Texas City Prairie Preserve just south of Houston. Work will focus on a variety of opportunities such as the removal of invasive species, native plant cultivation, and tending to the Butterfly garden. For more information, visit nature.org.
  4. Turtle Patrol Sunset Hike
    On July 13, 2018, from 6-7 p.m., the Texas Parks and Wildlife service will be hosting a sunset hike to protect endangered sea turtle’s nesting grounds on the Gulf Coast through trash cleanup and creature control. Join up with Park Rangers at the Galveston Island State Park in Galveston, Texas to protect these turtles. For more information, visit tpwd.texas.gov
  5. Science Teachers & Industry Workshop
    From July 16-19. the Harris County Department of Education, in partnership with the Texas Chemistry Council, is offering a “Science Teachers & Industry” workshop addressing the chemical industry’s concern for, and impact upon the health and safety of its workers, neighboring communities, and the environment. Academic, governmental, and industry experts present a full scope of environmental viewpoints  For more information and to register, visit spark.adobe.com.
  6. 2018 Brownfields Tools for Economic Growth & Community Livability
    On July 19, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the TCEQ, TRC, US EPA, and City of Houston Brownfields Redevelopment Program, along with the Technical Assistance to Brownfields Program (TAB) at Kansas State University, will host a free workshop about Brownfield properties and redevelopment funding  at the DeLuxe Theater in Houston, Texas. Registration required by July 13, 2018. For more information and to register, visit www.ksutab.org.
  7. Houston Community Toolbank Warehouse Tour
    On July 19, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., the Houston Community Toolbank is hosting an open warehouse tour at their headquarters 1215 Gazin St, Houston, TX. Learn about their lending program and community projects. Sign up to volunteer painting tools blue and/or filling orders. The tour is free to all. For more information visit houstontoolbank.org.
  8. Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse
    On July 21, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Historic Houston’s Salvage Warehouse will be open to all members at 1200 National St, Houston, TX 77007. Materials at the Salvage Warehouse include, but are not limited to, reclaimed wood flooring, windows and screens, interior/exterior doors and hardware, interior/exterior siding, paneling, and millwork, lumber, bath and kitchen fixtures, cabinetry, and exterior ironwork. For more information, visit historichouston.org.
  9. Arboretum at Night: Frogs
    On July 21, 2018, from 7-9:30 p.m., The Houston Arboretum will be hosting an evening class meant for people 16 and up about the diversity of frogs at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. Learn about the issues facing frogs around the world and in your backyard while enjoying beer from Saint Arnold Brewing Company. For more information and to register visit houstonarboretum.org.
  10. H-GAC Transportation Policy Council (TPC)
    On July 27, 2018, the Houston-Galveston Area Council will be hosting its monthly Transportation Policy Council (TPC) at the H-GAC office building 3555 Timmons Ln, Houston, TX 77027. The TPC provides policy guidance and overall coordination of the transportation planning activities within the Houston-Galveston region. The meeting will be held in Conference Room A on the second floor. For more information, visit h-gac.com.
  11. Rotary Wine Appreciation Fellowship Dinner
    On August 5, 2018, from 6:30-9:30 p.m., Vox Culture and the Rotary E-Club of Houston invite supporters of education, the arts, scientific innovation, and the environment to the Rotary Wine Appreciation Fellowship Dinner at Archway Gallery, 2305 Dunlavy Street. For full information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.
  12. EPA seeks proposals for Gulf of Mexico Program
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Program is soliciting proposals from eligible entities that address water quality improvement; coastal habitat and ecosystems enhancement, restoration and/or protection; environmental education and outreach; and community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region and its watersheds. The closing date for proposals is July 31, 2018. For more information, visit epa.gov.
  13. Call for Presenters at Texas Association for Environmental Education Fall Conference
    The Texas Association for Environmental Education will hold its fall conference, with the theme “Communicating and Connecting Our Diverse Natures,” Oct. 5-7 at the Lakeview Methodist Conference Center in Palestine, Texas. TAEE encourages all educators to consider presenting a session, and the Call for Presentations remains open. For more information and to submit a proposal, visit constantcontact.com.
  14. EPA seeks information on NAAQS ozone review
    The Houston-Galveston region is in non-attainment for ozone. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Human Health Risk Assessment Program announced the Federal Register Notice for the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Ozone-Call for Scientific and Policy-Relevant Information. The call for scientific and policy-relevant information for ozone is open to public comment through August 27, 2018. For more information on this document and the public comment period, visit the Federal Register and the EPA ISA webpage.
  15. TCEQ Seeking Applications for Texas Environmental Excellence Awards
    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is seeking applications for its 2019 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, which will be presented in May 2019. Deadline: September 28, 2018. Learn more and apply at tceq.texas.gov.
  16. Houston Cities H2O Challenge continues through 9/28
    The Houston Cities H20 Challenge, sponsored by the Galveston Bay Foundation, in partnership with the Texas Living Waters Project, The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency and the City of Pearland, continues through September 28. The Challenge is a friendly competition designed to engage area residents and businesses in water conservation.The Houston Cities H2O Challenge invites all to take the pledge to conserve water for the Bay through various actions, such as tracking water usage or learning how to efficiently water outdoor landscapes. For more information, visit gbwb.org.
  17. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife
    Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3 p.m. 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.

    • Biologists use satellite transmitters to study Texas wildlife
    • Working to restore the disappearing coastal prairie landscape
    • Sheldon Lake State Park offers a natural oasis outside Houston

Additional Upcoming Events: