Houston Environmental News Update October 31, 2018

It’s Halloween, and this evening’s weather is spooky indeed! We hope you and any young ghouls and goblins you know have had a safe and enjoyable holiday.
Also, please don’t forget that early voting for the November 6 elections continues through this Friday, November 2, 2018. Information on how and where to vote can be found at VoteTexas.gov website operated by the Texas Secretary of State. Don’t forget to read the Voters Guide from the League of Women Voters of Houston Education Fund!
If you are curious about what some of our state and local elected officials are up to, read the analysis by Taylor Surratt of preparations for the legislature and meetings of the City of Houston, Harris County, and TCEQ.
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.


Tales of Houston Women: Houston Women in the Environment
Bayou Preservation AssociationCitizens’ Environmental CoalitionHouston AudubonMemorial Park ConservancyKaty Prairie Conservancy, and UH Libraries are supporting Tales of Houston Women, the Houston History Alliance’s two-month retrospective and celebration displaying the many ways Houston’s women have, are, and will put their mark on local, national and global history. Twenty-one organizations have planned coordinating events, including the following events themed “Houston Women in the Environment”:

Environmental Educators Exchange at Houston Arboretum on Nov. 7, 2018
The next quarterly meeting of the Environmental Educators Exchange will be on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, from 4:30 to 6:30 PM at the Houston Arboretum. Join us as we visit the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 4501 Woodlway Drive, in the heart of Memorial Park. We’ll have a guided tour of some of the new features at the park, such as the new boardwalks and ponds, shown in the photo above, at the Woodway Entrance. The entrance includes two ponds, a mile of trails, and 15 acres of savanna restoration. As we tour, we will learn about environmental education initiatives at one of the best outdoor education centers in the region. All are welcome. More details at https://fall18eee.eventbrite.com. Sign up for EEE-mails at constantcontact.com.

Houston Green Film Series: Living the Change

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, the Rice Media Center, and additional partners on Nov. 28, 2018, for Living the Change.

Living the Change explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way. (Watch the trailer).

6:30 p.m. conversation, networking, and a light meal, followed by the screening at 7 p.m.. Free to the public, though donations are kindly appreciated. For more information, see the Facebook event.
Sign up for information about this event and other green film news at constantcontact.com.
And be sure to mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, 2019, when we’ll be hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour.


We have endeavored to confirm the events listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

  1. Galveston Bay Foundation seeks answers on environmental impacts of proposed coastal barrier project
    On Oct. 26, 2018, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for a Coastal Barrier Project (popularly known as the “Ike Dike”) as its preferred choice for protecting the Texas coastline from future storm surges (see coverage in the Houston Chronicle and the Texas Tribune). Along with other environmental nonprofits and activists, the Galveston Bay Foundation immediately called for answers to questions about the environmental impacts to the proposed project.
    “The nearly one-third constriction of water flow into and out of Galveston Bay that will occur from the proposed floodgate between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula may lead to reduction in the amount of Gulf water flowing into the Bay, a significant decrease in tidal height ranges, and a substantial increase to water velocities at the pass,” the GBF said in press release. “This may result in changes to the amount of sediment available to the Bay’s wetlands, lower salinities in times of abundant rainfall, higher salinities in time of drought that can affect populations of fish and shellfish, and less natural flushing of the Bay which can lead to increased pollutant concentrations.”
    The Corps is hosting a series of public meetings beginning November 27 in Port Lavaca. Read the GBF’s full press release and position statement on the coastal barrier.
  2. Highlighting Harvey
    With so many local organizations holding events and discussions relating to the effects and lessons learned from Hurricane Harvey, we are consolidating them into this special section. Please click on the links for detailed information.

  3. 2018 Prairies & Pollinators: A Regional Celebration
    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. For a full listing of planned events, visit prairiepartner.org. Events in the coming week include:

    • 11/3/18: Seaborne Creek Nature Fest in Rosenberg
    • 11/3/18: Rice University Prairie Planting Event
    • 11/3/18: Van Tour of Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge
    • 11/3/18: Robert C. Stuart Park Prairie Planting
  4. Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice grant opportunity
    The Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice is seeking coastal communities to participate in climate adaptation projects that will serve as local examples for other Gulf communities. This collaborative project will involve financial assistance through a small grant award. Interested communities should submit a Letter of Intent detailing the need for incorporating climate considerations into their existing planning frameworks and their interest in implementing a project to reduce risk to coastal climate stressors and/or extreme weather events. The deadline to submit a LOI is January 15, 2019. Find submission guidelines here.
  5. Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council meeting
    On Nov. 1, 2018, from 9 a.m.-3:45 p.m., the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council will hold a meeting at the FGBNMS Headquarters, 4700 Avenue U, Building 216, Galveston. This meeting will include presentations on the latest sanctuary happenings, deep sea corals in the Gulf of Mexico, micro-plastics and marine science updates from Blue Latitudes. A public comment period will begin at 1 p.m. (See the agenda). You can register to watch a webinar of the meeting here.
  6. Armand Bayou Nature Center Award Luncheon
    On Nov. 1, 2018, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the Armand Bayou Nature Center will hold its annual Award Luncheon, honoring environmental lawyer, teacher, and author Jim Blackburn, at the Bay Oak Country Club, 14545 Bay Oaks Blvd., Houston. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit abnc.org.
  7. Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou TMDL Stakeholder Meeting
    As part of the Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin bacteria reduction project focusing on Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou, the Houston-Galveston Area Council will host a public stakeholder meeting on Nov. 1, 2018, from 4-6 p.m. at the Bay City Civic Center, 207 7th Street, Bay City. For more information, visit h-gac.com.
  8. 46th Annual Herb Fair
    On Nov. 3, 2018, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., the Herb Society of Texas-South Texas Unit will host the 46th Annual Herb Fair at the Judson Robinson Community Center, 2020 Hermann Drive. November is the best time to plant an herb garden in Houston. Proceeds support the South Texas Unit’s educational activities as well as the donations we make to area arboreta and gardens. as well as annual scholarship to Texas students studying botany or horticulture. For more information, visit herbsociety-stu.org.
  9. Blackwood Harvest Hoedown
    On Nov. 3, 2018, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Blackwood Educational Land Institute will host the first annual “Harvest Hoedown,” an immersive farm experience celebrate the bounties of Gulf Coast communities with passionate change-makers who will inspire you to think in new ways about land and food. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit blackwoodland.org.
  10. Bayou City Waterkeeper’s 11th Annual Folks ‘N Oysters
    On Nov. 3, 2018, from 5-8 p.m., Bayou City Waterkeeper will host its 11th Annual Folks ‘N Oysters benefit in Seabrook. The event will include Prestige oysters, live music, craft beer and wine, and will help the organization continue its work making the region’s waterways fishable, swimmable, and drinkable, holding polluters accountable, and protecting our wetlands and floodplains. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bayoucitywaterkeeper.org.
  11. Coastal Stormwater Quality Education Workgroup meeting
    As part of it’s outreach to improve surface water quality in our region’s coastal counties, the Houston-Galveston Area Council has started a workgroup to help identify, facilitate, and coordinate education and outreach efforts. The next meeting of the workgoup is scheduled for Nov. 7, 2018 at the H-GAC, offices, 3555 Timmons Lane. For more information, visit coastalcommunitiestx.com.
  12. Oyster Creek public stakeholder meeting
    As part of the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin Bacteria Reduction Project focusing on Oyster Creek, the Houston-Galveston Area Council will host a public stakeholder meeting on Nov. 8. 2018, from 4-6 p.m., at the Brazoria County Library – Lake Jackson Branch. The meeting will consist of presentations, followed by an open house-style discussion period.  Participation of local leaders and residents is crucial for implementation of this project. For more information, visit tceq.texas.gov.
  13. Transition to Renewables Panel Discussion
    On Nov. 8, 2018, from 6-8 p.m. the Houston Renewable Energy Group will host a panel discussion aimed at energy sector professionals interested in transitioning to the renewable energy space. The event will be held at the United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  14. Buffalo Bayou Partnership Gala: Color Outside the Lines
    On Nov. 8, 2018, from 6:30-10 p.m., the Buffalo Bayou Partnership will hold its 2018 Partnership Gala, themed “Color Outside the Lines,” under a tent at the historic Sabine Street Bridge. Proceeds will allow the Partnership to continue transforming, activating and maintaining Buffalo Bayou along the 10-mile stretch from Shepherd Drive to the Port of Houston Turning Basin. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit buffalobayou.org.
  15. Fantastic Cranes and Where to Find Them
    On Nov. 8, 2018, beginning at 7 p.m, Houston Audubon will host a free event featuring photographer  Ray Bednar, who will discuss Sandhill and Whooping Cranes and where these beautiful birds are found in the United States. The event will be held at the United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive. For more information, visit houstonaudubon.org.
  16. SPARK Week Plus
    SPARK Week Plus, a celebration of new parks in the regional SPARK School Park program, will kick off Nov. 9, 2018, at 9 a.m., at Meador Elementary School, 10701 Seaford, Pasadena. Eight additional celebrations will be held through December 7. 2019 SPARK Art calendars will be given out at each event. See the poster listing all of the events.
  17. Guardian of the Bay Awards Celebration
    On Nov. 9, 2018, beginning at 11 a.m. the Galveston Bay Foundation will host its 2018 Guardian of the Bay Awards Celebration at the Marriott Marquis Houston. Marvin Odum, chief recovery officer for the City of Houston, will be the featured speaker. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit galvbay.org.
  18. HPC’s 15th Annual Run in the Park
    Hermann Park Conservancy logoOn Nov. 10, 2018, beginning at 8 a.m., the Hermann Park Conservancy will hold the 15th Annual Run in the Park, a timed, 5K run or walk, a 3K walk and a 1K Kids’ Run below the Park’s historic live oak canopy. The run will begin and end at Molly Ann Smith Plaza near the Jones Reflection Pool where family and friends cheer on participants, and ends with a Post-Race Party that will feature food, drinks, music and more. Team discounts available. Online registration will close on Nov. 8. Visit hermannpark.org for more information and to register.
  19. Artist Boat ‘Float the Boat” Gala
    On Nov. 10, 2018, from 6-9 p.m., Artist Boat will celebrate its 15th anniversary at the Annual “Float the Boat” Fundraiser and Gala, held at The Trolley Station, 2021 Strand St., Galveston. Artist Boat was founded on a groundbreaking concept: to merge art and science to inspire people to appreciate and protect our fragile coastal environment. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit artistboat.org.
  20. Bayou Land Conservancy’s Land Lover Annual Gala
    On Nov. 10, 2018, from 6-10 p.m., the Bayou Land Conservancy will host its 2018 Land Lover Annual Gala at the headquarters of Southwestern Energy, 10000 Energy Drive. The featured speaker will be Dr. Sam Brody, professor at Texas A&M University-Galveston and director of the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bayoulandconservancy.org.
  21. Our Great Region Awards applications open through November 16
    The Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Our Great Region Awards recognize outstanding projects in the region that advance the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan. The application period is open through Nov. 16, 2018. Any plans, programs, projects or policies that have implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county region in the past four years are eligible. For more information, visit ograwards.org.
  22. 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.

    • Huntsville State Park opens a door to 2,000 acres of outdoor adventure *
    • Adding acreage and restoring habitat at Laborcitas Creek Ranch
    • Take a slow walk on the beach on Galveston Island *
  23. Additional Upcoming Events