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Houston Environmental News Update January 3, 2019

Houston Environmental News Update January 3, 2019

Happy New Year!

We would like to start the year by expressing our gratitude to you, our supporters, for being part of our environmental community. You stay informed by reading our newsletter, and many of you share what you learn, are involved in activities and opportunities, and make a difference. Many of you have participated in events, engaged on social media, or donated–THANK YOU!

Each year, we also like asking what you are thinking about for the coming year. 

  • What headline would you like to see about the Houston environment in 2018?
  • What do you see as issues or events of importance to the greater Houston region’s environmental community in 2019?
  • What is your environmental resolution for 2019?

Please take a few minutes to let us know what you think using our Google survey.

Last year, these are some of the issues and headlines our readers suggested. Have we made headway?

  • Houston’s Air Quality Greatly Improved!
  • Houston region commits to protecting thousands of acres of green space
  • SAN Jacinto River clean
  • City of Houston to appoint new Sustainability Officer
  • Fossil fuel consumption declines by 100%
  • “Clean Power Adopted…”
  • Air cleaner, water purer, health better since price put on carbon pollution!
  • reduce reuse and recycle
  • The Greening of Houston
  • New Elected Officials; Environmentalists Celebrate

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.

THANK YOU to our sponsors:


We are grateful to have a number of dedicated promotional partners: Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Eagle Lake Chamber of Commerce, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, Friends of Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge, Houston Sierra Club, Houston Tomorrow, Katy Prairie Conservancy, TOEA-Texas Outdoor Education Association, UH Office of Sustainability, and VOX Culture.

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 rachel@cechouston.org 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 Results

We asked what 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 you told us:

  • Houston’s selection as the 101st city in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Global Network
  • Industrial pollution, especially near 610 East Loop
  • 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

We welcome additional suggestions for the list.


We have endeavored to confirm the events listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.
  1. Audubon Christmas Bird Count
    The Audubon Christmas Bird Count continues through Jan. 5, 2019. Organized each year by the National Audubon Society, this global, all-volunteer effort collects data on local bird populations. Individual counts are open to birders of all levels, and there is no fee to participate. Several events are scheduled across the region. For details and dates for each count, visit houstonaudubon.org.
  2. Christmas tree recycling
    The City of Houston is offering drop-off service at 26 locations around the city through Jan. 15, 2019. See fox26houston.com for details. Don’t forget: The trees must have all decorations, ornaments, tinsel, lights and stands removed. Flocked trees cannot be recycled.The City of Pearland continues recycling Christmas trees through Jan. 12, 2019. Recycling will be 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays at the Stella Roberts Recycling Center, 5800 Magnolia, Pearland. For more information, visit keeppearlandbeautiful.org
  3. Scenic City Certification Program application due March 31
    The mission of the Scenic City Certification Program is to support and recognize Texas municipalities that implement high-quality scenic standards for public roadways and public spaces. The Scenic City Certification Program provides a proven, highly-regarded tool to Texas cities for assessment, evaluation and recognition of infrastructure standards. Any Texas city may apply to the Scenic City Certification Program for an objective, points-based review of existing municipal infrastructure ordinances. The application period continues through March 31. For more information, visit sceniccitycertification.org.
  4. Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston 2019 Kick-Off
    On Jan. 6, 2019, from 2-4 p.m., the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston will hold its 2019 Kick-Off at First Congregational Church, 10840 Beinhorn Road. Leaders from several faiths will discuss the ethics of eating from their faith perspective, and there will be a presentation on the top ten actions houses of worship and steps their members can take now to preserve the environment. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  5. Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award Nomination due January 9
    Each year, the prestigious Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Awards recognize community members who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to aiding in the conservation, preservation, restoration and/or advocacy of Houston’s waterways. Nominees can be from the nonprofit, public or private sectors. The recipients will be honored at Bayou Preservation Association’s 2019 Luncheon on May 21, 2019. The deadline for nominations is Jan.9, 2019. For more information, visit bayoupreservation.org
  6. “How Geologic Forces Shape Texas Rivers” presentation
    On Jan. 9, 2019, beginning at 7 p.m., the Houston Canoe Club will hold a meeting featuring a presentation by Dr. William Dupré, emeritus professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Houston, called “How Geologic Forces Shape Texas Rivers.” The event will be held at the Bayland Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet Drive. For more information, visit thcc.clubexpress.com.
  7. 12th Annual Texas STEM Conference
    From Jan. 9-11, 2019, the 12th Annual Texas STEM Conference, hosted by the Texas STEM Council, will be held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio. More than 1,000 STEM colleagues will learn cutting-edge technologies, STEM best practices, innovative approaches to teaching and learning, how to implement more effective partnership strategies, and more. For more information and to register, visit txstem.org.
  8. Urban Harvest 2019 classes begin January 10
    From Jan. 10 through May 16, 2019, Urban Harvest will hold a series of 10 classes on Growing Organic Vegetables. Those who complete the 25-hour course will become certified Organic Vegetable Specialists. Other classes offered this spring include Growing Fruit Trees in Small Spaces, Sustainable Living Through Permaculture, and Designing Green Homes and Communities. For information on all class offerings and to register, visit urbanharvest.networkforgood.com.
  9. Houston Audubon presents “BirdCast: Perspectives on Bird Migration”
    On Jan. 10, 2019, from 7-8:30 p.m., Houston Audubon will present Dr. Andrew Farnsworth, research associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, who will discuss BirdCast, a collaborative effort between ornithologists and computer scientists to further our understanding of the biology of bird migration by using state-of-the-art machine learning and computer science techniques in combination with data collected with remote sensing methods. The event will be held at the United Way building, 50 Waugh Drive. For more information, visit houstonaudubon.org.
  10. Sierra Club Houston Group presents Riverwoods: Exploring the Wild Neches
    On Jan. 10, 2019, from 7:30-9:30 p.m., the Sierra Club Houston Group will host its monthly meeting, featuring a presentation by author/photographer Charles Kruvand, who will discuss his new book about the Neches River, Riverwoods: Exploring the Wild Neches. The event will be held at St. Stephen’s Pecore Hall, 1805 W. Alabama Drive. For more information, visit sierraclub.org/texas/houston.
  11. High Island Volunteering with Houston Audubon
    On Jan. 12, 2019, from 8:30 a.m.-noon, Houston Audubon will host a volunteer coastal restoration workday at High Island in Chambers County. A lunch will be provided. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.
  12. Houston Botanic Garden Call for Volunteers
    The Houston Botanic Garden is holding volunteer orientations on Jan. 12, 2019 (9 -10:30 a.m.) and Feb. 12, 2019 (6:30 – 8 p.m.). HBG has many volunteer opportunities available from administrative and special
    events support to hosting site walks to getting your hands dirty in the Garden. For more information and
    to register, complete the online form.
  13. Free Farm Tour: Explore Your Food
    On Jan. 12, 2019, beginning at 9:30 a.m., Finca Tres Robles, 257 N. Greenwood St., will host three free tours of the farm to allow people to see what’s growing on the farm and meet who is growing it. For more information, see the Facebook event.
  14. Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice grants
    The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, in collaboration with NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and 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 for LOI submissions is Jan. 15, 2018. For more information, visit masgc.org.
  15. Society for the Advancement of Volunteer Youth at Moody Gardens
    The Society for the Advancement of Volunteer Youth (SAVY) provides students aged 14-17 with the opportunity to volunteer within their community while gaining experience in a variety of career fields. Through the SAVY program, participants have an experience that only Moody Gardens can offer. The application period for the next session runs through March 22. For more information, visit moodygardens.com.
  16. Call for submissions for Gulf Coast Green 2019
    The 2019 Gulf Coast Symposium and Expo, the leading green building conference in the region. will be held May 17, 2019 at Rice University’s Moody Center for the Arts. Submissions are now being sought from presenters from the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, engineering, planning, interior design, government, education, the arts, contracting, energy analysis, and other building-related professions relevant to the conference theme, “CROSSROADS: Inclusive Exchange.” The deadline for submissions is Jan 21, 2019. For more information, visit aiahouston.org.
  17. 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.
    • UT-Austin’s Gulf Coast DesignLab students go to Galveston*
    • Trawling Texas bays to collect data on marine species
    • The Alum Creek Wildlife Management Association works to improve land management in the Lost Pines

Additional Upcoming Events