Houston Environmental News Update August 8, 2018

We’re busy getting ready for the Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, so we don’t have an in-depth lead article for you today. We hope you will join us at the Summit, as it is a great event.

Eventbrite - 2018 Greater Houston Environmental Summit

The photo above is of the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Preserve, and was provided to illustrate just one of the great talks at the Summit: Staying Resilient – Recovery of Attwater’s Prairie Chickens Post-Harvey, given by Jennifer Romero, Asst. Refuge Manager, Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR & Hannah Bailey, Curator of Birds, Houston Zoo.

In last week’s newsletter, our list of farmers markets was not complete. Here are a few more, courtesy of our readers. Thanks to all who sent these additions!

All this, just in time for “National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbors Porch Day.” (Send us an email if you are in search of a porch.)

Regardless of whether you are a zucchini fan, you’ll probably love the food at the Greater Houston Environmental Summit, catered by Pat Greer’s Kitchen. See the menu below.


Please register for CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 10, 2018. Buy your tickets now!

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:

  • Welcome by Commissioner Rodney Ellis 
  • Excellent Featured Speakers 
  • Table Talks: A cross between a breakout session and speed networking. See full descriptions of table talk hosts.
  • Exhibit tables from CEC member groups and local businesses.
  • Delicious, locally-grown food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen.
    • Continental Breakfast
      Scones from Angela’s Oven
      Coconut Chia Pudding with Granola and fresh fruit
      Tea and Coffee with all the fixins
    • Lunch
      Hibiscus Tea and Water
      Slow cooked, barbecued jackfruit and veggies
      Hoppin’ John – made with Texas: rice, black-eyed peas, and okra
      Salad – Market Mix
      Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Basil Pesto
      Pimento Geez with Celery and Tomato Basil Kracker
      Strawberry Geezcake
      and, of course, lots of giant hugs!
  • A few surprises 🙂

We are grateful to the following sponsors:

Register at Eventbrite.

Houston Green Film Series

At the next edition of the Houston Green Film Series, on Wednesday, August 15, 2018, we’ll be showing Rodents of Unusual Size (see the trailer), a highly acclaimed film about the impact of nutria on coastal wetlands along the Gulf. (The film title might sound familiar if you are a fan of The Princess Bride.) Panelists will include Shannon Tompkins, who covers outdoor recreation and natural resource issues for the Houston Chronicle, and Linda Tschirhart-Hejl, the district supervisor for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension-Texas Wildlife Services and an expert on nuisance wildlife management. We’ll announce the other panelists next week. This film is NOT TO BE MISSED!

On September 19, we will be showing Dirt Rich, another excellent film, this time about the connection between regenerative agriculture and climate change.

In October, we’ll host “Wild About Houston, A Green Film Festival,” to showcase local short films telling environmental stories. Let us know if you have a film to submit!

Mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, when we’ll be hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour.

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 houses for potential board members September 24 and October 22, 2018. If you are interested, please send an email with your résumé to rachel@cechouston.org.

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. Public comment on Texas State Expenditure Plan for RESTORE Act funds sought through Aug. 27
    In July, the RESTORE Council posted online Texas’s draft State Expenditure Plan (SEP), developed pursuant to the Spill Impact Component of the RESTORE Act. Public comment on the SEP will be accepted through 5 p.m. Central Time on Monday, August 27, 2018. Due to the devastating and long-range effects of Hurricane Harvey, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and TCEQ Commissioner Toby Baker have determined this first Texas SEP will focus on hurricane recovery efforts that include ecological and economic, as well as resiliency-related programs. The draft Texas SEP is available at restorethetexascoast.org.  Written comments should be submitted electronically to rcomments@tceq.texas.gov by the end of the comment period.
  2. Early voting in Harris County Flood Control District Bond Program election continues through Aug. 21
    Harris County is holding a bond election for the Harris County Flood Control District. Registered voters will be asked to vote on August 25, 2018 (with early voting August 8-21) on up to $2.5 billion in bonds for flood risk reduction projects throughout the county. Find detailed information about proposed projects for each of the county’s watersheds, including an interactive map, at hcfcd.org.
  3. Harvey Recovery Open House
    On August 9, 2018, from 6-8 p.m., Harris County Precinct One, the Harris County Flood Control District and Harris County Community Services are co-hosting a Harvey Recovery Open House at the Sheldon ISD Administration Building, 11411 C.E. King Parkway. Attendees will hear directly from representatives about the Harris County Flood Control District bond program and other future Harvey recovery programs like housing repairs, home buyouts and relocation assistance, drainage, disaster assistance and other issues.
  4. Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership Public Meeting
    On August 9, 2018, from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership will hold a public meeting at the Eddie V Gray Wetlands Center, 1724 Market Street, Baytown. The meeting will cover water quality in Cedar Bayou, flood reduction efforts in the area, funding for septic system/OSSF repair and replacement, and actions being taken to improve conditions in the community. For more information, visit cechouston.org.
  5. Galveston Rain Barrel Workshop
    On August 11, 2018 from 9:30-11 a.m., the Galveston Bay Foundation will host a Rain Barrel Workshop at the Bryan Museum Observatory, 1315 21st Street, Galveston. The workshop will include a presentation on the environmental benefits of collecting rainwater, and instructions and tips. Participants will not set up the rain barrel at the workshop but instead will receive the tools to go home and do so. For more information and to register, visit galvybay.org.
  6. HREG “Own Your Power” workshop
    On August 11, 2018, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG) will hold a  “Own Your Power” workshop at the City of Houston’s Green Building Resource Center, 1002 Washington Avenue. The workshop will explore efficient living, reducing carbon footprints, batteries for resiliency, and electric vehicles. The event will be kid-friendly. Snacks will be provided. For more information, visit houstonrenewableenergy.org.
  7. McGovern Centennial Gardens Volunteer Orientations
    On August 15 and 18, 2018, from 9:30-11 a.m, Hermann Park Conservancy will host a orientations for prospective volunteers at the McGovern Centennial Gardens. Participants will learn about the Conservancy’s background, details of volunteer opportunities, and get a tour of McGovern Centennial Gardens, and hands-on demonstration. For more information and to register, visit hermannpark.org.
  8. Urban Riparian, Stream Restoration Workshop
    On August 16, 2018, from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., the Texas Water Resources Institute’s Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host a workshop on conducting stream restoration projects in and around the Houston area. The morning session will be in the Recreation Center at Bear Branch Park, 5310 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands. The afternoon session will be outdoors along a branch of Upper Panther Creek and will involve learning stream surveying techniques. Registration for the workshop is $100 and includes all training materials, lunch and a certificate of completion. Attendees must register by August 13. For more information and to register, visit twri.tamu.edu.
  9. UCS presents “The Risks of Rising Seas on our Coasts”
    On August 16, 2018, from 7-8 p.m., representatives of the Union of Concerned Scientists will host a presentation focusing on their recently released report, “Underwater,” examining the impact of tidal flooding and sea level rise on coastal real estate. There will also be a discussion of ways to use science-based resources to convince federal elected officials to take action on climate change. The event will be held at Emerson Unitarian-Universalist Church, 1900 Bering Drive. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  10. Climate Change Town Hall
    On August 18, 2018, from 1:30-4 p.m., Houston Climate Movement and the Union of Concerned Scientists will co-host a “Climate Change Town Hall” at Talento Bilingue de Houston, 333 Jensen Drive. During the event, HCM representatives will discuss how climate change is impacting Houstonians, and UCS will discuss their recent “Underwater” report (see above) on the relationship between climate change and chronic flooding. For more details and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  11. H-GAC celebrates Commute Solutions Month in August
    Commute Solutions’ partners in the eight-county Houston-Galveston Transportation Management Area are celebrating Commute Solutions Month in August. The Houston-Galveston Area Council, along with some of the region’s transit service providers, will host several public outreach events at park and ride facilities to show appreciation to commuters for their current participation in carpooling, vanpooling, riding the bus, or rail. These events will educate commuters, employees, and residents about alternative modes of transportation instead of driving alone, and will call them to awareness and action during August. For more information, visit findasmarterwaytowork.org.
  12. Houston Cities H2O Challenge continues through September 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. For more information, visit gbwb.org.
  13. 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.

    • Hunting to honor the memory of Navy SEAL aspirant Jacob Krebs
    • Protecting corridors for mammals and birds on the Texas-Mexico border
    • The threatened Red-Crowned Parrot finds a home in South Texas
  14. Additional Upcoming Events: