Houston Environmental News Update September 12, 2018

Water You Doing Next Week?

With all the rain we’ve had lately, it’s fitting that several worthy and fun activities being held over the next ten days look to water for inspiration. The first is Adopt-A-Beach, the semiannual beach-cleanup marathon that brings together thousands of volunteers to improve the health of our coastline.

This season’s Adopt-A-Beach event, which is sponsored by the Texas General Land Office and is a part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, will be held on Saturday, September 15, with several opportunities in the Houston-Galveston region. For a full listing and to register, visit eventbrite.com.

This just happens to coincide with National Estuaries Week (Sept. 15-22), now celebrating its 30th anniversary. There are four related events in the region, which you can find on an interactive map at estuaries.org.

That popular sandy-toes gathering is an unofficial lead-in to Pollution Prevention (P2) Week, which kicks off Monday. During P2 Week, residents, environmental groups, and businesses come together to highlight their pollution prevention and sustainability activities and achievements, expand their current pollution prevention efforts, and commit to new actions.

As an aside, and in keeping with our watery theme, Wednesday just happens to be International Talk Like A Pirate Day (avast, ye mateys!). And on that note, CEC member group Artist Boat has protected land in the vicinity of Jean Lafitte’s old boneyard, on the West End of Galveston. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that Jean’s ghost won’t hijack any artists’ boats as they carry out environmental education tours on the waterways of Galveston.

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Houston Green Film Series
Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners on Wednesday, September 19, 2018, for a screening of Dirt Rich, which explores the connection between regenerative agriculture and climate change (see the trailer). Dirt Rich shifts focus from greenhouse gas emissions to carbon draw-down, which many believe is the only viable solution for reversing the effects of runaway global warming in a timely manner. 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.

Wild About Houston: A Green Film Festival
Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners on October 17, for “Wild About Houston, A Green Film Festival,” to showcase local short films telling environmental stories. Email [email protected] if you have a film to submit.

6:30 p.m. conversation, networking, and a light meal
7:00 p.m. film screening, followed by a panel discussion. Panelists to be announced.
Free to the public, though donations are kindly appreciated. For more information, see the Facebook event.
And be sure to mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, 2019, 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 [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. Mayor Sylvester Turner at the Global Climate Action Summit on Thursday
    California Gov. Jerry Brown has convened the first Global Climate Action Summit, Sept. 12-14, 2018, in San Francisco. On Thursday, beginning at 11:10 a.m. (CST) Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will participate in a panel discussion titled “Delivering the Clean Energy Economy.” You can watch a live-stream of the entire event, including Turner’s appearance, at globalclimateactionsummit.org.
  2. H-GAC Seeks Public Input on Use of Harvey Infrastructure, Buyout Funds
    The Houston-Galveston Area Council is seeking additional public input on its board-approved a Method of Distribution (MOD) for approximately $241 million in Harvey recovery funds to support infrastructure projects and home buyouts/acquisitions outside the City of Houston and Harris County. H-GAC seeks input to help inform guidance to local governments as they plan and prioritize use of their allocated CDBG Disaster Recovery infrastructure and home buyout/ acquisition funds. H-GAC especially seeks input to the elements found on pages 5-8 of the 2017 Hurricane Harvey CDBG-Disaster Recovery Allocation Summary Form. The public comment period regarding the Summary Form will close on September 14, 2018 at 12 p.m. They will take comments online, by e-mail, by mail, and hand-delivered. For more information, visit h-gac.com.
  3. FHWA Accepting Applications for the Environmental Excellence Awards
    The Federal Highway Administration accepts nominations for any project, process, group, or individuals involved in a project or process that has used FHWA funding sources to make an outstanding contribution to transportation and the environment. Any organization, agency, group, or individual in the public, private, or non-profit sectors may submit a nomination for the 2019 EEAs. Nominations are due by September 14, 2018. For more information, visit environment.fhwa.dot.gov.
  4. TPWD Recreation Grants Public Meeting
    On Sept. 13, 2018, from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will host a public meeting to discuss and assess evaluation criteria for awarding funds through the Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) Grant and for Local Park Grants. Public feedback will assist TPWD in keeping the evaluation criteria relevant for future grant applicants. Those unable to attend a public meeting will have the opportunity to participate in an online webinar. The meeting will be held at the TPWD Region 4 headquarters, 14200 Garrett Rd. For more information (including registering for the webinars), visit cechouston.org.
  5. North Houston Highway Improvement District Open House (West Side)
    On Sept. 13, 2018, from 5:30-7 p.m., the City of Houston’s Planning and Development Department invites the public to an Open House at the Houston Public Library-Central Library for central city neighborhoods – Sixth Ward, Fourth Ward, Midtown & Downtown – adjacent to a segment of TxDOT’s North Houston Highway Improvement Project. The public is encouraged to participate in the planning of future opportunities that will enhance the highway corridor and re-connect Houston’s neighborhoods with new parks, trails and civic amenities. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  6. Buffalo Bayou East Sector Community Meeting
    On Sept. 13, 2018, from 6-8:30 p.m., the Buffalo Bayou Partnership will host a public meeting to receive input on priorities for the development the 5-mile stretch of the bayou from U.S. 59 to the Port of Houston Turning Basin. The meeting will be held at Ripley House Community Center, 4410 Navigation Boulevard. For more information, visit buffalobayou.org.
  7. Houston Audubon presents “A Swift Night Out at the Movies”
    On Sept. 13, beginning at 7 p.m., Houston Audubon will host a program titled “A Swift Night Out at the Movies,” featuring a brief presentation about the importance of conserving Chimney Swift habitat in the city, followed by a screening of the film On the Wing, a film about Vaux Swifts in Portland and the importance of protecting these birds in our urban landscape. The free event will be held at the MATCH, 3400 Main Street. For more information, visit houstonaudubon.org.
  8. Surfrider Foundation Galveston Meeting
    On Sept. 13, from 7-9 p.m., the Surfrider Foundation Galveston chapter will hold its monthly meeting featuring a talk by Andy Tirpak, a recently retired natural resource damage specialist with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, who will discuss environmental response to pollution. The meeting will be held at the MOD Coffeehouse, 2126 Post Office Street. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  9. McGovern Centennial Gardens New Volunteer Orientation
    On Sept. 15, from 9:30-10:30 a.m., McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park will host an orientation for prospective volunteers. Attendees will learn about volunteer opportunities and the history of Hermann Park Conservancy, followed by a tour. Another orientation will be held on Sept. 19. For more information, visit hermannpark.org.
  10. Drive Electric Week event at IKEA
    On Sept. 15, 2018, from 9:30 a.m.-12:20 p.m. the Houston Renewable Energy Group, in conjunction with Drive Electric Week and the Houston Electric Auto Association, will allow the public to experience many different types of electric vehicles, and take tours IKEA’S 3,000-panel rooftop solar generation plant at 7810 Katy Freeway. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  11. Second Annual State of TxDOT
    On Sept. 17, 2018, the Transportation Advocacy Group – Houston Region will host the Second Annual State of TxDOT highlighting the Texas Department of Transportation’s past, present and future with a focus on Harvey recovery and moving forward. TxDOT District Engineer Quincy Allen and Texas Transportation Commissioner Laura Ryan will be the featured speakers. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  12. Gulf Research Program research grants deadline on Sept. 19
    The National Academies’ Gulf Research Program is awarding up to $10 million in grants to support efforts to enhance coastal community resilience and well-being in the Gulf of Mexico region. This opportunity is aimed at bridging the gap between the knowledge and practice of community resilience. The deadline to file a Letter of Intent to apply is Sept. 19, 2018. For more information, visit national-academies.org.
  13. Native Plant Society of Texas meeting
    On Sept. 20, 2018, beginning at 6:45 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold its monthly meeting featuring a presentation by Carolyn White, conservation manager at Memorial Park Conservancy, titled “A Plan for Houston’s Greenspace Future: Using Native Plants to Restore Local Ecosystems.” The event will be held at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. For more information, visit npsot.org.
  14. Houston Area Master Composter Program
    Houston-Area composting enthusiasts who want to enhance their skills and spread the sustainable practice can become a Master Composter through a training hosted by the City of Houston Green Building Resource Center, Thursday, September 20 through Sunday, September 23, 2018. The Yard Wise Master Composter Certificate Program, administered by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling, offers an in-depth course featuring a team of experienced Houston professionals. For more on this workshop, visit codegreenhouston.org.
  15. 2018 Prairies & Pollinators: A Regional Celebration
    From late September through early November, the Coastal Prairie Partnership is sponsoring “2018 Prairies & Pollinators: A Regional Celebration,” a set of events allowing attendees to learn about and help plant pollinating plants in prairies across the region. The first event will be the Wildscapes Workshop, presented by the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas on September 22. For a full listing of the planned events, visit prairiepartner.org.
  16. Hobart Taylor Park Prairie Habitat Restoration
    On Sept. 22, 2018, from 9 a.m.-noon, the Houston Parks & Recreation Department’s Natural Resources Management Program will hold a volunteer event to help restore urban prairie habitat at Hobart Taylor Park, . Gloves and shovels will be provided. Be sure to bring plenty of water, along with shoes and clothes that can get muddy. To RSVP, please call 832-395-7090 or email [email protected].
  17. Take Me Outdoors Festival at Discovery Green
    On Sept. 22, 2018, Texas Parks and Wildlife and other organizations will co-host the 10th annual Take Me Outdoors Festival at Discovery Green. This family-friendly event will include birds of prey demonstrations, aquatic touch tanks, a nature sensory safari, and more. For more information, visit discoverygreen.com.
  18. Mason Park Bridge Grand Opening
    On Sept. 22, 2018, the Houston Parks Board, Houston Parks and Recreation and other entities will host the grand opening of the Mason Park Bridge: a 485-foot-long, 16-foot-wide pedestrian/bike suspension bridge connecting Mason Park, 541 South 75th St., to the Brays Bayou Greenway trail system. The event will begin with a free 5k Fun Run at 8 a.m., followed by a Picnic in the Park with live music and games and other activities, from 10 a.m.–1 p.m. For more information, visit houstonparksboard.org.
  19. Back the Bayou Family Fun Nature 5K Walk
    On Sept. 23, 2018, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Armand Bayou Nature Center will host the Waterkeeper Alliance SPLASH Back the Bayous, including an interactive nature 5K walk, live music, wildlife exhibitions, and nonprofit information booths. All proceeds benefit Bayou City Waterkeeper‘s conservation, advocacy, and education programs. For more information and to register, visit bayoucitywaterkeeper.salsalabs.org.
  20. 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.

    • Recreational activities at Goliad State Park & Historic Site
    • Owls make a home in El Paso’s underground spaces
    • Creating a massive database of marine animals
  21. Additional Upcoming Events