Houston Environmental News Update June 29, 2022

CEC Summer Interns, Brews for Birds, Environmental Justice Tool launch, Moth Night, Green Jobs, and more

Dear Friends,

It’s summertime, and here at CEC, that means we have a new crop of Summer Interns! You may know not know that we rely on our Interns to do much of the work of our small organization, and we’re awfully proud of what they accomplish – particularly during this Summer of Action! We’d like to introduce you to this summer’s cohort.

Angie Torres, one of our new Membership Engagement Interns, focused on helping CEC to revitalize membership and coordinate the annual Greater Houston Environmental Summit. Angie is a master’s student in Rice University’s Social Policy Evaluation program. She holds an undergraduate degree in Integrative Biology, and her nonprofit work background includes organizing, campaign strategy, and policy research. Learn more about Angie here.

Jessalin Nguyen, another Membership Engagement Intern, is a second-year student studying Environmental Science at the University of Chicago. Next year, she will be reviving the Animal Welfare Society at her university. She wants to pursue avenues to improve the relationship between humans and the environment. Learn more about Jessalin here.

Ava Trachtenberg is a senior at Emery High School in Houston. She has been involved with climate activism in several capacities—founding and leading a Climate Action Club at her school, serving on the national leadership board of the Jewish Youth Climate Movement, being an active member of Houston Youth Climate Strike, and participating in the Youth Implementation Group for the City of Houston’s Climate Action Plan. Learn more about Ava here.

Chandler Jones is a recent graduate of Mirabeau B. Lamar High School in River Oaks. In the fall she will be attending Princeton University in New Jersey, where she plans to study environmental science and policy. She has chosen this path as she has special interests in the environment and sustainability. Learn more about Chandler here.


Summer of Action 2022

Our Summer of Action is clipping along, having produced two successful Community Listening Sessions this past week. Next on the agenda is a series of three Skill-Building Sessions designed to empower concerned citizens and local community leaders to advocate for climate resilience funding from the Justice40 initiative and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Thanks to funding from EDF, these events are free and open to the public:

  • Jul 13 – Introduction to Climate Action
  • Jul 20 – Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Justice40 Deep-dive
  • Jul 27 – Legislative Advocacy 101
  • Sep 10 – Houston Community Climate Summit at Rice University

Please register at Eventbrite for these and other Summer of Action events. We look forward to seeing you there!

Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Join fellow environmental educators every other Friday morning for a quick check-in to collaborate. The next meeting is July 1, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Bring your coffee (or tea) and ideas for things that are working in your programs (or questions about things that are not). The Zoom call is hosted by regional board members from the Texas Association for Environmental Education. Email Alicia at Alicia.Mein@pct3.hctx.net for Zoom link and any questions.

Virtually Wild! Texas Student Learning Programs

Region 4 Education Service Center partners with the Virtually Wild! Texas team to provide students with engaging and interactive TEKS-aligned virtual environmental education field trips that highlight careers in conservation. These free 45-minute programs are live, and teachers and students are encouraged to engage with natural resources professionals by asking questions. Topics vary by program and have included endangered species, animal adaptations, habitat exploration, wildlife crime investigations, and more! Public, private, homeschool, hospitals, and education sites are welcome to view. See program listings and register at esc4.net.

Texas Wildlife Foundation Summer 2022 Teacher Workshops

The Texas Wildlife Foundation is offering Teacher Workshops, both virtual and in-person through July 28. Teacher Workshops are six-hour trainings that introduce attendees to the Texas Wildlife Association, in-class and outdoor lessons and activities, and how to incorporate natural resources into classrooms or programming. Lessons focus on teaching land stewardship, native wildlife, and water conservation and are Science TEKS-aligned for Grades K-8. Learn more and register at texas-wildlife.org.

Other opportunities:

Please scroll down to read about public engagement opportunities and notes from our member organizations and the community.


Community Flood Resilience Task Force Meeting, Yearly Report

The Harris County Community Flood Resilience Task Force, which advises Harris County on equitable flood resilience planning and projects that take into account the needs and priorities of communities, has submitted its first Yearly Report to the county. It will discussed during the June 28 meeting of Harris County Commissioners Court.  

Additionally, the Harris County Community Services Department is currently collecting feedback from communities on how to prioritize the $750 million in promised CDBG-MIT funds. The Committees recently submitted this letter to request that the Method of Distribution strongly prioritize flood risk reduction projects. You can find out more at HarrisRecovery.org, and the surveys, in English and Spanish, are open throughout the summer.

Learn about additional public comment opportunities at cechouston.org.

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