Houston Environmental News Update October 30, 2019

Happy Halloween, #oursharedhou, Election Day, Prairies & Pollinators, ITC impacts public forum, Green Jobs, and more

Don't boo. VOTE.

Happy Halloween! We hope you and any young ghouls and goblins you know have had a safe and enjoyable holiday. 

Don’t forget that early voting for the November 5 elections continues through this Friday, November 1, 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! You can also read the Houston mayoral candidates’ responses to the questionnaire from CEERhouston.org (also posted on the Texas Campaign for the Environment website).

Our Shared Home. Caring for our environment is caring for Houston. Voting is one way to care for our shared home. for more information visit harrisvotes.com. #oursharedhou

Please consider the environment especially when you vote this fall. Floods do not discriminate. Air pollution doesn’t care what you do for a living. The threats posed by climate change to our continued prosperity, the future of our shared home, impact us all. And they’re here. We have always been able to come together when faced with a crisis. Now’s the time.
Caring for the environment is caring for Houston.  Learn more at oursharedhou.org.

Thinking about orange, we join many baseball fans tonight as we wonder whether tonight’s game will be a trick or a treat. Go Astros!


Green Films

Join CEC, the Rice Media Center and other partners on Nov. 20, 2019, for the next installment of the Houston Green Film Series. CEC is hosting a panel discussion on “How to Tell Your Story with Film & Video.” The Green Film Series is taking a break in December, but please join us at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour on Tuesday and Wednesday, January 28 and 29, 2020.

Environmental Educators’ Exchange: Kickerillo Mischer Preserve

Please join the CEC’s Environmental Educators’ Exchange on Nov. 6, 2019 at Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve for the fall meeting of the Environmental Educators’ Exchange. Attendees will have the chance to meet Sarah Coles, the new State Coordinator for Texas Children in Nature. Come and go as your schedule allows. Canoe from 3:30 – 5 pm., network from 5 – 5:45 p.m., and take a night hike from 5:45 – 6:30 p.m. Our goal is to provide a space to rejuvenate, network, and learn about trends in environmental education. All are welcome (including children). Find more information on Facebook or Eventbrite or contact [email protected].

Earth Day Houston

On April 22, 1970, 20 million people took to the streets and college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand greater protections for our planet. This first Earth Day sparked the passage of major environmental legislation in the U.S. including the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

October 22 marked six months to Earth Day, and on this day, CEC is pleased to announce its support for Earth Day 2020 and the EARTHRISE movement, which will mobilize across the globe. Together, we fight for a cleaner, safer, more just and sustainable world that protects and supports all of us.

Earth Day Houston, part of the 50th worldwide observance, will be held at Discovery Green on Sunday, April 19, 2020.

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 endeavored to confirm the opportunities listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

2019 Prairies & Pollinators

A regional celebration from Mid-September through Mid-November 2019. Includes nature hikes, classes, seed collecting events, festivals, film fests, etc., that celebrate the Coastal Prairies of our region. Full event details located at http://prairiepartner.org/2019-prairies-pollinators.

  • Sat., 11/2/19: Savannah Prairie Restoration
  • Sat., 11/2/19: Robert C. Stuart Park Prairie/Tree Planing
  • Sat., 11/2/19: Becoming an Outdoor Girl
  • Sat., 11/2/19: Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge van tour
  • See more at PrairiePartner.org

Texas Children in Nature seeks feedback

Texas Children in Nature is a coalition in our community, committed to encouraging children and their families’ to enjoy the many exciting outdoor opportunities in the greater Houston region. The collaboration inspires and focuses the movement to increase outdoor play and learning for all children by catalyzing partnerships between businesses, healthcare providers, conservation groups, urban planners, educators, community groups and faith-based organizations. Currently, its initiatives include Cities Connecting Children to Nature, the Houston Environmental Resources Exchange (HERE), and Open Outdoors for Kids. As TCIN prepares for the future, please offer your feedback in this survey.

Harris County Flood Control District Community Engagement Meetings

The Harris County Flood Control District is holding a series of Community Engagement Meetings related to the 2018 Harris County Flood Control District Bond Program. As part of the preliminary engineering process conducted near the beginning of each project’s development stage, and prior to a formal Preliminary Engineering Report being presented to Commissioners Court for approval, the Flood Control District will conduct a public meeting in a primary project watershed to solicit public comments about the project. Learn more about the Program and the meetings at hcfcd.org. Upcoming meetings include the following:

RAQPAC meeting: Harris County pollution plans

On Oct. 31, 2019, beginning at 2 p.m., the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Regional Air Quality Planning Advisory Committee will host a meeting at the H-GAC offices, 3555 Timmons Lane. The featured speaker will be Latrice Babin, Ph.D., of Harris County Public Health, who will give an overview of the county’s pollution plans. Find the meeting materials at h-gac.com.

Texas Society for Ecological Restoration 24th Annual Conference registration ends Oct. 31

The Texas Society for Ecological Restoration 24th Annual Conference will take place Nov. 8-10, 2019 at Sea Star Base in Galveston. Keynote speaker Dr. Anna Armitage of Texas A&M will discuss the recovery of several coastal wetland restoration projects in Texas and strategies to maximize the recovery of a diverse species assemblage and a range of ecosystem functions. Registration ends Oct. 31. For more information and to register, visit chapter.ser.org.

4th Annual Preserving Communities of Color Conference

From Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2019, the 4th Annual Preserving Communities of Color conference will take place at the United Way Community Resource Center. This year’s theme, “Community  Culture and Collaboration,” is focused on addressing the impact of structural discrimination, particularly racial discrimination and implicit bias in health, housing, the environment, and historic preservation within communities of color. For more information and to register, visit communitiesofcolorconference.org.

Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award nominations due Nov. 1

Each year, the Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award, awarded by the Bayou Preservation Association, recognizes individuals in the community 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 non-profit, public or private sector. 2020 recipients will be honored at the Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award Luncheon on May 5, 2020. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1, 2019. For more information and to make a nomination, visit bayoupreservation.org.

Caring for Our Coasts Gulf Region Grants Program applications due Nov. 1

Restore America’s Estuaries recently announced the CITGO Caring for Our Coasts Gulf Region Grants Program for organizations and groups interested in hosting locally-based volunteer events in the Gulf of Mexico region. These grants are intended to provide groups with funding to host clean-up, restoration, or other educational events. If your organization is already planning a restoration event, or would like to begin, consider applying for a Gulf Region Grant. Applications are due Nov. 1, 2019 and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. For more information, please visit estuaries.org.

Fall Planning Workshop: Building Equity into Planning

On Nov. 1, 2019, from 8:30 a.m.-noon, the Houston-Galveston Area Council will host its Fall Planning Workshop with the theme “Building Equity into Planning.” Topics will include: The State of Equity in Our Communities; Reaching Out to Our Communities/Including Equity in Planning; Measuring Equity in Our Efforts; and On-the-Ground Examples of Successful Equity in Planning. For more information and to register, visit h-gac.com.

47th Annual Herb Fair

On Nov. 2, 2019,. from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., the Herb Society of America South Texas Unit will hold its 47th Annual Herb Fair, offering a variety of herbs for gardening and herbal products. The event is free and open to the public. It will be held at the Judson Robinson Community Center. For more information, visit herbsociety-stu.org.

Seabourne Nature Fest

On Nov. 2, 2019, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., the Texas Master Naturalist Coastal Prairie Chapter will hold the 8th Annual Seabourne Nature Fest at Seabourne Creek Park in Rosenberg. The free, family event will include a host of nature-oriented activities. For more information, visit the Facebook event.

2019 Gold Brick Tour

On Nov. 2-3, 2019, Preservation Houston will hold its 2019 Gold Brick Tour, an inside look at five outstanding historic preservation projects across Houston. All five locations will be open from noon to 5 p.m. both days of the tour. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit preservationhouston.org.

Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Meeting

From Nov. 3-7, 2013, the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) is holding its 25th biennial meeting on the Gulf coast in Mobile, Ala. The conference is intended to connect science and society in the collective goals of preserving coastal and estuarine habitats, resources, and heritage. More than 1,700 scientists and researchers from all over the world will collaborate and learn to be “Responsive | Relevant | Ready.” For more information and to register, visit cerf.science.

Public Forum: ITC Incident Impacts

On Nov. 4, 2019, from 6:30-8 p.m., the Galveston Bay Foundation will host a public forum to present and discuss the latest water quality findings from the ITC chemical fire incident in March. The forum will be held at 5002 E Nasa Pkwy, Seabrook. For more information, see the Facebook event.

NOAA Debris Removal Program grant applications deadline Nov. 5

The NOAA Marine Debris Program’s FY20 Marine Debris Prevention provides funding to prevent the introduction of marine debris into the marine and coastal environment. Projects awarded through this grant competition will actively engage and educate a target audience in hands-on programs designed to raise awareness, reduce barriers to marine debris prevention, and encourage and support changes in behaviors to ensure long-term prevention of marine debris. The Program’s federal funding opportunity is now open. This year, applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) describing the proposed prevention project and receive an invitation from NOAA to submit a full proposal. LOIs are due November 5, 2019. For more information, visit marinedebris.noaa.gov.

The Woods Project 2019 Fall Luncheon: Tales from the Trails

On Nov. 5, 2019, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., The Woods Project will hold its Fall Luncheon at The Junior League of Houston. Attendees will meet TWP alumni, hear their inspiring stories of transformation, and learn more about how TWP is changing the trajectory of Houston’s most underserved youth. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit secure.qgiv.com.

Fleet Electrification Workshop

On Nov. 7, 2019, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m., EVolve Houston will host a Fleet Electrification Workshop to help fleet managers, suppliers, and other commercial stakeholders learn about electric vehicle conversion, hear experiences about converting fleets to electric vehicles, and connect with electric vehicle and electric vehicle supply equipment providers. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.

UH Energy Symposium: Future of Plastics

On Nov. 7, 2019, beginning at 6 p.m., UH Energy will host an Energy Symposium titled “Future of Plastics: Designed Sustainability or Recycling.” The future of plastics is being formulated and issues of designed-in sustainability, bio-based replacements, and improved recycling are at the core and will be discussed in this symposium, which will be held at the UH Hilton Hotel. For more information and to register, visit uh.edu.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership 2019 Gala

On Nov. 7, 2019, from 6:30-10 p.m., the Buffalo Bayou Partnership will hold its 2019 Gala, themed “Moonscape,” on the lawn at The Water Works. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, this year’s gala will highlight the signature Lunar Cycle Lighting along Buffalo Bayou. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit buffalobayou.org.

The Nature Conservancy’s 2019 Houston Conservation Gala

On Nov. 7, 2019, from 6:30-10:30 p.m., The Nature Conservancy will hold its 2019 Houston Conservation Gala at the Houston Zoo. The event will feature National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore as he presents National Geographic’s Photo Ark, his groundbreaking effort to document species before they disappear. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit nature.org.

Volunteers sought for Lawther-Deer Park Prairie field trip

Volunteers are sought on Nov. 8, 2019, from 9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., at the Lawther-Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Lane. They are hosting a field trip for the Deer Park High School Special Needs class.  Thirty-seven students will be divided into three stations: Insect Netting, Birding & Prairie Tour and Seed Balls or Weeding the Demo Garden. If you can help, please email [email protected].

CELF Citizen Science: Inquiry to Action

CELF Citizen Science: Inquiry to Action is a semester-long program that engages educators and students in project-based STEAM learning outside of the classroom. On Nov. 8, 2019, from 12:30-3:30 p.m., CELF will offer a workshop on AirBeam monitoring technology at MECA in Houston. The program culminates in a Spring 2020 Student Symposium, bringing together all participating schools to present their findings and pollution-prevention plans to community members and real-world policy makers. For more information and to register, visit celfeducation.z2systems.com.

Putting Down Roots 2019

On Nov. 8, 2019, from 9-11:30 am., Katy Prairie Conservancy will hots Putting Down Roots 2019. Volunteers will work together to transplant native prairie plants in order to help restore prairie habitat. Snacks and water will be provided, but feel free to bring your own food if you have dietary restrictions. Please bring a reusable water bottle. For more information and to register, visit katyprairie.org.

UH film screening: Oceans: The Mystery of the Missing Plastic 

On Nov. 8, 2019, from 3-6:30 p.m., the French Embassy’s Office for Science and Technology and the University of Houston will present a screening of the award-winning documentary Oceans: The Mystery of the Missing Plastic (see the trailer). The film will be followed by a panel discussion with researchers form CNRS (France) and the University of Houston. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.

The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. Rain Barrel Sale

On Nov. 9, 2019, from 8 a.m.-noon, The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. will host a sale of 50-gallon Ivy Rain Barrels from Rainwater Solutions available for online purchases at a special discount price. A portion of these funds will support environmental education in The Woodlands area with college scholarships, library donations, lectures, field trips, and other environmental education activities. The event will be held at The Woodlands Farmers Market. For more information, see the Facebook event.

Blackwood Harvest Hoedown

On Nov. 9, 2019, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., the Blackwood Educational Land Institute in Hempstead will hold its Blacwood Harvest Hoedown, a fun, immersive, family-friendly fall festival and farm experience celebrating the bounty of the Gulf Coast community.  Enjoy live music, farmers market full of local vendors, farmers, and artisans, curated classes and demonstrations from fermentation to chicken and beekeeping, hayrides, delicious food, and more. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit blackwoodland.org.

Repair Café 2019

On Nov. 9, 2019, from 1-5 p.m., Transition Houston will host Repair Café 2019 at TX/RX Labs in Houston’s East End. Members of the public are invited to bring in a broken item and meet local people who have offered to share their skills to help you make repairs. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table, by leafing through books on repairs and DIY. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.

Bayou City Waterkeeper’s Folks ‘N Oysters

On Nov. 9, 2019, from 5-9 p.m., Bayou City Waterkeeper will hold its Folks ‘N Oysters fundraiser at the Texas Corinthian Yacht Club in Kemah. The event will feature Prestige Oysters, craft beer and wine, fantastic food, a wine pull, and more. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit bayoucitywaterkeeper.org.

Rice Design Alliance 2019 Gala

On Nov. 9, 2019, beginning at 7 p.m., the Rice Design Alliance will hold its annual Gala, celebrating leaders in the architecture, engineering, design, and construction communities. This year’s Gala will honor the Tellepsen family’s contributions to the city of Houston. The event at Silver Street Studios will feature a design-focused silent auction, three-course dinner, and entertainment. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ricedesignalliance.org.

Greens Bayou Celebration

On Nov. 9, 2019, the Greens Bayou Coalition will hold the 2nd Annual Greens Bayou Celebration, which will celebrate the previous year at GBC and open the new world-class BMX facility at the North Houston Bike Park. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit greensbayou.org.

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.

  • Visit a couple prime birding hot spots along the Texas coast and we’ll let you know where they are
  • Some common landscape plants are escaping our yards and causing problems for native plants and wildlife
  • A fall flight above the changing colors of the Texas Hill Country

Additional Upcoming Events