The past 12 months saw the United States, the Houston region, and all of us hit with another smorgasbord of environmental challenges, ranging from natural disasters, elections, political actions, and climate reports. The Citizens’ Environmental Coalition continued to alert the public about such urgent concerns as well as local environmental news, through a wide range of events and media, and we have grand plans for 2019.
January saw our fourth screening of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour, which featured 20 films on critical environmental issues, ranging in scope from international to national to local. We are hosting the festival again on January 30 and 31, 2019 (buy tickets!). These films have inspired CEC to help the local environmental community share its stories through film and video, and in October we launched Wild About Houston: A Green Film Festival. Sign up to learn more about our ongoing green film initiatives.
In April, the CEC partnered with Discovery Green Conservancy to host Earth Day Houston, with Green Mountain Energy as lead sponsor. The popular event, which featured eight environmental talks, dozens of exhibits, four musical acts, a youth poetry slam, and a farmers’ market. Among the talks were a challenge by two middle school students to ban plastic bags, and a presentation by a Rice professor on future solutions to Houston flooding. Exhibitor registration for Earth Day 2019–to be held on Sunday, April 14, 2019, at Discovery Green–will be available soon.
Harvey was the theme of the 2018 Greater Houston Environmental Summit, hosted by the CEC in August at nearly the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey. Environmental advocate Rodney Ellis, who serves as Harris County Precinct One commissioner, opened the conclave, which featured presentations by nine environmental experts about how Harvey impacted our environment and communities – especially in surprising, unexpected ways. The event also included illuminating Table Talks, small-group discussions on ten topics ranging from “What Grade Would You Give Galveston Bay’s Health?” to “Sea Turtles, Dune Restoration, Plastic Bags.”
The state of our air, water, and animal habitats is also detailed in Houston Environmental News Update, which reaches about 4,900 subscribers each week with compelling articles, announcements about local environmental opportunities, a calendar of events, and a listing of green jobs. In addition, the CEC produces the online Environmental Resource Guide, a valuable source of information on hundreds of area environmental groups and government agencies. And we can be found on a variety of social media.
Over the past year, we have become increasingly more actively involved with environmental education, participating in a variety of committees and initiatives, and taking lead responsibility for HereInHouston.org and the Environmental Educators’ Exchange. CEC is excited to announce that we have received funding to support our growing efforts to connect formal, school-based environmental educators with each other the ‘informal’ environmental education resources within the greater Houston environmental community. Be on the lookout for EE networking opportunities (including trips to the zoo and a wastewater treatment facility), curriculum resources and support, professional development, and a job description. Sign up for EEEmails.
These are just some of the many ways the CEC is at the forefront of environmental education and collaboration.
These accomplishments are not possible without the valuable support of friends like you. Please consider a donation to support these efforts. You can donate securely through Paypal Giving Fund, at Network for Good (which makes it easy to set up recurring donations), or on Facebook. As always, you may send a check (payable to Citizens’ Environmental Coalition) to PO Box 702, Houston, TX 77001.
We hope to continue success stories like these in 2019. Best wishes for the new year from all of us at the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition!