A banner year for CEC!

Happy New Year from the board of the CEC!

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!


Rachel Powers
Executive Director

Houston Environmental News Update December 26, 2018

Brazos Bend State Park, located near Needville, Texas, southwest of Houston, is home to numerous huge and stately live oak trees, some of them more than 100 years old. © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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 2018 to connect our environmental community and donate today and gain access to some great benefits. With any gift of $40 or more, you will become an individual member of the CEC and gain access to some great benefits:

  • Our weekly newsletter, the indispensable Houston Environmental News Update
  • Our Environmental Resource Guide, your source for invaluable information on each environmental group in the Gulf Coast region
  • Discounted tickets to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival and the Greater Houston Environmental Summit, and preferred access to sure-to-sell-out events such as an upcoming tour of one of the largest wastewater treatment facilities in Texas (!)
  • Continuously updated listings of the most environmentally-friendly jobs in the region

Your gift helps us carry out our mission of fostering education, dialogue, and collaboration on environmental issues in the Houston/Gulf Coast region. CEC can’t do it without support from readers like you.

We appreciate your support and look forward to partnering with you to connect our environmental community in 2019!


Rachel Powers
Executive Director

* Banner Photo Notes: The photo above was taken at Brazos Bend State Park, located near Needville, Texas, southwest of Houston. Home to numerous huge and stately live oak trees, some of them more than 100 years old, Brazos Bend State Park is one of several local state parks that are hosting First Day Hikes, part of the national First Day Hikes initiative. The First Day Hikes events range from brisk strolls on scenic trails, bike rides, short treks with four-legged family members, bird walks, beachcombing, campfires, paddles, and full moon walks to more strenuous hikes for experienced visitors. Local hikes are are being held at

A complete list of First Day Hike events can be found on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s calendar page. Photo © Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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.


Tickets now available! Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour
January 30 & 31, 2019

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour returns to the Bayou City with its unique brand of environmental cinema on January 30 and 31, 2019. Hosted for the fifth straight year by the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, this ever-popular film fest will be screened once again at the historic River Oaks Theatre, where up to 450 patrons each night will enjoy about ten short films each night highlighting the latest environmental issues. We selected films that showcase the links between beauty, environment, adventure, quality of life, and action.

CEC is using this festival to tell local environmental stories, highlight the work of our member organizations, and inspire our residents and visitors to make a difference in the environment and quality of life. We are especially excited to show the two local films that were winners of the Wild About Houston Green Film Festival: Little Grouse on the Prairie by Friends of Attwater Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge (January 30) and Gregory Lincoln Education Center by Urban Harvest (January 31).

The festival tickets are now on sale through Eventbrite, with early bird discounts.

Please help us promote the festival by sharing our Facebook event pages for January 30 and January 31.

A big THANK YOU to our early sponsors: Kirksey Architecture, Asakura Robinson, Air Alliance Houston, Bat Conservation International, North American Prairie Conference, Save Buffalo Bayou, Massin Media Productions, and McMac Cx.

We invite you to become a sponsor of this exciting event. Sponsorship is an amazing opportunity to align your organization with our community and inspire people to take environmental action where they live. You will also support over 130 local organizations that are part of the CEC, and raise awareness for your own green initiatives. Please contact [email protected] for any inquiries, or visit CEC website.

Sign up for information about this event and other green film news at constantcontact.com.

Environmental Year in Review: 2018 Survey

As we approach the end of 2018, we’d again like to ask you, our readers, for some feedback. What do you believe have been the most significant environmental accomplishments, controversies, issues, news, and events over the past year in the greater Houston region?

Here’s what people have suggested so far:

  • Houston’s selection as the 101st city in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Global Network
  • Flood management
  • Harvey
  • Flooding
  • Sustainability
  • Mayor Turner’s announcement of a Climate Action Plan at Earth Day
  • The decline in the population of monarch butterflies
  • The rise in the population of the lesser prairie-chicken
  • The Galveston Bay Record Card overall score of C
  • President Trump’s proposed border wall which would run through the National Butterfly Center along the Rio Grande

Of course, these are just a few. Please share the ones most important to you at our three-minute “2018 Houston Environment in Review” survey. 

Continue reading

Environmental Year in Review: 2018 Survey

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took the photo above of Houston and the Gulf Coast as the International Space Station flew overhead.NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took the photo above of Houston and the Gulf Coast as the International Space Station flew overhead.