Houston Environmental News Update September 14, 2022

Houston Bird Week, Climate Fresk, Finding the Money, Mapping & Glaciers, Tree Giveaway, Horticulture Seminar, Wildscapes Workshop, Green Jobs, and more

Dear Friends,

The fall migratory bird season is in full swing, and once again Houston Audubon is celebrating with Houston Bird Week, which runs from Saturday, September 17 through Saturday, September 24, with a mix of in-person and virtual events.

The annual Bird Week was started in 2019 by Houston Audubon’s inaugural Young Professionals Advisory Council to commemorate the organization’s 50th birthday. Bird Week is “a celebration of the important role Houston plays in the journey of billions of migratory birds and the everyday lives of our resident birds. In addition to Houston’s vital location along the Gulf of Mexico, the growing popularity of planting native plants, restoring prairies, bird-friendly education programs, and Houston’s Lights Out for Birds program were among the many efforts and programs that gained Houston the Bird City designation in 2020.”

This year’s activities start with a Kick-Off Party at Sawyer Ice House. The week includes a host of events around the region, including bird surveys, bird walks, activities that combine birding with biking and boating, volunteer beach and park clean-ups, trivia contests, photography classes and photo shoots, happy hours, chats by partnering organizations, a night of stories, bingo games, and many more. Many of the events are family-friendly. Find the full listing of events at houstonaudubon.org. A few selected events and others related to the migration can be found in the “Fall Bird Migration” section below.


CEC NOTES


Climate Fresk – Learn about climate change through an interactive game

On September 20, from 6-9 p.m., CEC, Central City Co-Op, Blackwood Educational Land Institute, and the Climate Fresk organization will host a workshop where participants will learn the facts of climate change through a playful and scientifically serious game. In just three hours, the collaborative workshop will teach you the fundamental science behind climate change and empower you to take action. The event will be held at POST Houston. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Tell us how we can improve the newsletter!

We recently launched a survey asking subscribers to “Houston Environmental News” what they like about it, and how we can improve it. If you haven’t already completed the survey, please fill it out today to let us know how we can improve the newsletter. Find the survey here.


Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Join fellow environmental educators every other Friday morning for a quick check-in to collaborate. The next meeting is September 9, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Bring your coffee (or tea) and ideas for things that are working in your programs (or questions about things that are not). The Zoom call is hosted by regional board members from the Texas Association for Environmental Education. Email Alicia.Mein@pct3.hctx.net or cwilems@galvbay.org for Zoom link and any questions.


Virtually Wild! Texas Student Learning Programs

Region 4 Education Service Center partners with the Virtually Wild! Texas team to provide students with engaging and interactive TEKS-aligned virtual environmental education field trips that highlight careers in conservation. These free 45-minute programs are live, and teachers and students are encouraged to engage with natural resources professionals by asking questions. Topics vary by program and have included endangered species, animal adaptations, habitat exploration, wildlife crime investigations, and more! Public, private, homeschool, hospitals, and education sites are welcome to view. See program listings and register at esc4.net.

Deep in the Heart Learning Resources

Deep in the Heart Learning Resources, using videos from the recent full-length documentary, are now available to connect students to Texas’s unique environments, inspire awe in the natural beauty of our state, and lead to actions that support conservation. Each video includes 4 TEKS and NGSS-aligned lessons for K-12 teachers and students. Lessons include directions for the teacher, student documents in English and Spanish, and English and Spanish PowerPoint files. The lessons are aligned with the 2020/2021 revised Science TEKS. Learn more and download the resources at deepintheheartwildlife.com.


Other opportunities:


Please scroll down to read about public engagement opportunities and notes from our member organizations and the community.


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT


Texas Commission on Environmental Quality seeks feedback on Solid Waste Management Plans

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is providing an opportunity for informal public comment through Tuesday, September 20, on the regional solid waste management plans developed by the 24 regional councils of governments, including the Houston-Galveston Area Council. To view the draft plans and provide comments, visit tceq.texas.gov.



Toxics Release Inventory Virtual Conference

On Sept. 20-21 from noon-3:30 p.m. EDT, the EPA will host a virtual event on pollution prevention, environmental justice and more. The event will feature speakers from EPA, universities, local governments, industry and communities. There will be presentations on assessing and prioritizing opportunities for advancing pollution prevention at facilities; innovative Toxic Release Inventory data uses by companies, state governments, and students; using Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) modeling results to identify communities with potential environmental justice concerns; and the TRI Toxics Tracker and other resources for communities. Attendees will also have a chance to share feedback about TRI and ask questions of program experts. For more information and to register, visit epa.gov.


EPA seeks input on new environmental justice-focused pollution prevention grant opportunity

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will hold two listening sessions to collect input on the development of a new grant opportunity made possible by the $100 million investment in the agency’s Pollution Prevention program from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The new grant opportunity will encourage businesses that are working in, or working with, underserved or overburdened communities to adopt P2 practices in a way that advances the Biden-Harris Administration’s environmental agenda. A listening session on September 21 will seek input from Tribes on this new grant opportunity. Another listening session on September 29 is for all potential applicants and stakeholders. For both listening sessions, EPA is interested in understanding how these grants can be most accessible and useful to applicants. EPA will also seek additional insight into how funded projects can help businesses adopt P2 approaches to address environmental problems in underserved/overburdened communities.


Comment on Draft Regional Flood Plan

The San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group submitted the DRAFT Regional Flood Plan to the Texas Water Development Board on Aug. 1, 2022. The public is invited to provide feedback on the DRAFT Regional Flood Plan and learn more about flood risk, stormwater management, and flood mitigation projects by visiting sanjacintofloodplanning.org. An in-person open house will be held September 27, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Drive. A virtual open house will be held September 29, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Learn more about the open houses at sanjacintofloodplanning.org.


Public Comment on Harris County Storm Conveyance Tunnels proposal

The Harris County Flood Control District is seeking public comment on the recently released Feasibility Study on the Countywide Large Diameter Tunnels for Stormwater Conveyance, a $30 billion, 133-mile system of 8 large underground tunnels to drain stormwater out of the county’s bayous and streams. Public comment will be accepted through September 30. The next phase of the project will include community meetings. Find more information, including the presentation slides and video of a public meeting held in June, at hcfcd.org.


Comment on Environmental Justice Scorecard

The White House Council on Environmental Quality is taking a next step in the development of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Environmental Justice Scorecard, a first-of-its-kind tool that will assess progress Federal agencies are making to advance environmental justice, including through the Justice40 Initiative. The draft framework for the Environmental Justice Scorecard, on which CEQ and the Office of Management and Budget are inviting feedback and comment, would assess the efforts that Federal agencies are taking toward reducing burdens and harms in communities; delivering benefits to communities; and centering justice in decision making. The public can submit comments on the Scorecard until Sunday, October 2, via the Federal Register.


San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group seeks Flood Districts voting member

The San Jacinto Regional Flood Planning Group is soliciting nominations for individuals
interested in becoming a voting-member to represent Flood Districts on the San Jacinto
Regional Flood Planning Group. Nominees who have strong affiliation or are endorsed by Flood Districts or Drainage Districts within Region 6 are encouraged to apply. Nominations will be accepted by mail and email to SanJacFldPG@eng.hctx.net until October 9. Mailing address: Claudia Garcia c/o SJRFPG Project Sponsor, Harris County Engineering Department, 1111 Fannin St., 12th Fl., Houston, TX 77002. Find the full solicitation at sanjacintofloodplanning.org.


Learn about additional public comment opportunities at cechouston.org.



COALITION & COMMUNITY NOTES

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


Community Impact: Environmental advocates say Houston is ‘ground zero’ for Inflation Reduction Act environmental gains

“Houston-area environmental advocates and experts said the region can benefit from over $350 billion in climate, energy security and environmental provisions granted in the recently signed $750 billion federal Inflation Reduction Act—the largest amount given to climate and environmental protection in history,” writes Jishnu Nair for Community Impact. “According to a White House fact sheet, improvements targeted at Texas include the coverage of 50%-100% of costs for lower-income families to install newer, cleaner appliances; a $66.5 billion investment in clean power generation and job creation; and tax credit incentives for electricity co-op providers, which serve 2.5 million customers in the state.” Read the full story at communityimpact.com. (Photo via Adobe Stock)


Bayou City Waterkeeper: 5 Most Critical Wetland Areas

“The Lower Galveston Bay watershed encompasses the greater Houston region and is home to some of the most abundant and diverse wetlands in the world. We live at the intersection of prairies and forests, and freshwater and saltwater. Wetlands maintain water quality, provide wildlife habitat, protect against erosion, and — especially important for our region — serve as nature’s best defense against flooding,” Bayou City Waterkeeper says in its recently released a story map titled “5 Most Critical Wetland Areas,” “At least half of the wetlands in our watershed have been lost due to unprecedented and uncontrolled development in our region.” See the full story map at bayoucitywaterkeeper.org, as well as a discussion of solutions here.


Our Future Is Science Mentorship Program applications due Sept. 15

High school students in grades 10-12 are invited to apply to be mentees in the Our Future Is Science Mentorship Program, which matches high school students with science graduate students in near-peer mentorship teams to develop leaders who will make a difference in the world through social justice, science, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math) more broadly. Through an academic year-long journey of mentorship, scientific learning, and career exploration, we will develop leaders who will make a difference. The deadline to apply is September 15. Learn more about the program here and apply here.


Evolve Houston eMobility micrgrants applications due September 16

Evolve Houston, a nonprofit organization working to accelerate electric vehicle adoption withing the greater Houston area, is partnering with local nonprofits, community champions, and corporate catalysts to award funding to grassroots eMobility projects that address community mobility needs in Houston’s historically underserved neighborhoods. Applications are due September 16. To learn more and apply, visit apply.evolvehouston.org.


Voting for Scenic City 2022 People’s Choice Award closes Sept. 16

Take a moment to support your favorite Scenic Certified City, whether you live in your favorite Texas Scenic City or felt at home while visiting another city. These Scenic Cities show their dedication to their communities and directly mobilize the mission of Scenic Texas through the Scenic City Certification Program. To cast your by September 16, visit scenictexas.org and scroll to find your favorite city. The 2022 Scenic City Award Ceremony will be held  at the Texas Municipal League Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio from October 5– 7.


Finding the Money: Get Projects Prepped for Funding

On September 16, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the Houston-Galveston Area Council will hold its hybrid Annual Livable Centers Land-Use / Transportation workshop. Attendees will learn innovative strategies that leverage existing resources and expand projects’ funding potential; hear from local area experts on how to evaluate projects using performance-based criteria for project planning, as well as real-life pilot projects and programs being implemented in the Houston-Galveston region; and expand their understanding of H-GAC resources including future grant opportunities the agency is actively tracking. Registration is required to attend online and requested to attend in person. Learn more and register at constantcontact.com.


How Texans can use AirMail to combat air pollution

On September 16, beginning at 11:30 a.m., Air Alliance Houston will hold a webinar featuring a live demonstration of AirMail, a powerful website for air permit tracking and public notification in Harris County developed by Air Alliance Houston and January Advisors. AirMail seeks to fill important gaps in the TCEQ’s public participation process. The tool helps ensure that those most directly affected by air pollution, often communities of color and lower income, are aware of air permits proposed in their neighborhoods and the options for public participation, so they can act quickly and collaboratively to protect their health. To register, visit zoom.us.


The Most Flood-Prone Region in America – an Update

On September 16, beginning at 3 p.m., Dr. Philip B. Bedient, the Herman Brown Professor of Engineering and Director of the SSPEED Center at Rice University, will present a talk about some of the new technologies being used to predict impacts and warn of impending danger of flooding in the Houston area. Advanced hydrologic models and greatly improved databases have allowed for a major improvement in accuracy for flooded areas. The talk will be held at the Ryon Engineering Building, Room 201. For more information, visit events.rice.edu.


Karen Stokes Dance: Mapping & Glaciers

From September 16-25, the MATCH is presenting Mapping & Glaciers, which reflects on the changing landscapes, both metaphorical and actual, of our times. With choreography/film/direction by Karen Stokes and original music by Samuel Lipman, the performance merges film, dance, and music to explore human concepts of territory and connection in a world of melting glaciers. Mapping & Glaciers explores human interaction and nature through the vast, contradictory, and beautiful identities of maps. The project examines manmade and natural boundaries that challenge humans through tribalism and constructs of power, and the shifting shape of our geological environment under the influence of climate change. While the work questions the often-devastating absurdity of human choices, it also speaks to the resiliency of human nature. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit matchouston.org.


Tree Giveaway

On September 17, from 8 a.m.-noon, Trees for Houston will hold a tree giveaway partnership with LyondellBasell and San Jacinto College, 7901 W. Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena. Species will include American Beautyberry, Wax Myrtle, Dorsett Golden Apple, Loblolly Pine, River Birch, and more. The event will held while supplies last. Species are first come first serve. For more information, including updates on species availability, see the Facebook event.


Houston Botanic Garden Horticulture Seminar

On September 17, from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., the Houston Botanic Garden will host its Houston Horticulture Seminar where in-house experts on the horticulture team will teach about soil, plants, trees, water, and more. In addition to lectures covering lessons learned around the Garden, new trends in horticulture, tropical plants, and planting for wildlife, participants will enjoy opportunities to socialize with presenters and other attendees over coffee, lunch, and a happy hour. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit hbg.org.


Wildscapes Workshop and Native Plant Sale 2022

On September 17, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold its 2022 Wildscapes Workshop and Native Plant Sale at the Houston Community College-West Loop Center, 5601 West Loop South. The event will feature speakers from the Harris County Historical Commission, the Harris County Precinct 4 Biological Control Initiative, Texas Master Naturalists, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit eventbrite.com.


League City EcoFest & Arbor Day Celebration

On September 17, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the City of League City will hold its EcoFest & Arbor Day Celebration at the League City Community Center, 400 S. Kansas. This family friendly event will feature classes & exhibits on sustainability with a focus on how easy it is to be more eco-friendly right here at home. There will also be professional chalk artist demonstrations, vendors, crafts, giveaways, a yard sale, and free trees and prizes for participating in GREEN bingo while supplies last. For more information, visit leaguecitytx.gov.


Bat Fest

On September 17, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center will hold its inaugural Bat Fest. Bat expert Cullen Geiselman will discuss the important role of bats in our ecosystem as pest control, seed dispersers, and pollinators. Guests 21 and up will also be able to enjoy a tequila popsicle from KICPOPS. Participants will then go on a bat hike using special detectors to listen to bat sonar over the Arboretum. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit houstonarboretum.org.


Faith in Democracy: Houston

On September 18, from 2-5 p.m., Texas Impact, a interfaith-based organization which advocates on many issues including climate justice, will hold an event to reflect with Houston faith leaders about why civic engagement is a must for faith communities. Attendees will hear from Texas Impact about plans for the 2023 legislative session and be able connect with like-minded folks to build advocacy teams. The event will be held at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Gulf Coast Protection District round tables

The Gulf Coast Protection District, the non-federal sponsor of the Sabine Pass to Galveston Bay Coastal Storm Risk Management and Coastal Texas Protection and Restoration Feasibility studies, known together as the Coastal Barrier, will host virtual round tables on September 19, 23, and 26 to learn more about priorities and concerns related to future activities associated with the Coastal Texas project environmental outreach forums. Spots are still available. If you are interested in participating, send an email to mariah@hollawayenv.com.


Galveston Bay Research: How Data Informs Action

On September 21, from 11 a.m.-noon, the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) will present a webinar with  research scientists Dr. Ryan Bare and Dr. Erin Kinney, who will provide a primer on the overall health of Galveston Bay, the state’s largest estuary and then provide a deeper dive into the data behind the science. The program is free to attend, but pre-registration is required by Monday, September 19. For more information and to register, visit harcresearch.org.


UH Energy Fair

On September 21, from 1-4 p.m., UH Energy will host its Energy Career Fair at the UH Student Center. The event is open to all majors but is targeted towards business, engineering, technology, and science majors who are interested in the energy sector. Non-profits, government agencies and start-ups are also welcome. For more information and to register, visit uh.edu.


Sustaining Life with Native Plants

On September 21, from 7-8:30 p.m., the Bay Area Sierra Club chapter will hold a virtual meeting featuring a presentation by Doug Tallamy, an author, entomologist and professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware. This program will emphasize choosing plants not only for beauty but for what pollinators and other insects have evolved to need, that is, native plants. For more information and to register, visit meetup.com.


The Supreme Court & the Clean Water Act

On September 22, beginning at noon Central time, the Clean Water for All Coalition will host a webinar about the Sackett v. EPA Supreme Court case, which will determine the extent to which the Clean Water Act may protect wetlands. Bayou City Waterkeeper’s Community Science Manager Mashal Awais, who also serves as the Vice-Chair of Harris County’s Community Flood Resilience Task Force, will share more about the implications this decision could have for local wetlands and flood risk. Register here.


Going Green Sustainability Lecture: USGS Annual Groundwater Table Data

On September 22, beginning at 7 p.m., The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N will present a virtual lecture by Jason Ramage, a hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey Oklahoma–Texas Water Science Center. He will discuss current year (2022) regional water-level altitudes in the Gulf Coast Aquifer system for the Houston-Galveston region, including  Montgomery County. He will also discus short and long-term changes in water-levels as  well as subsidence, as measured by extensometers across the region. For information on how to connect, visit thewoodlandsgreen.org.


Deep in the Heart screening

On September 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m., the Big Thicket Association and the National Parks Conservation Association will present a free screening of the Texas nature documentary Deep in the Heart at the Jefferson Theater, 345 Fannin Street, Beaumont. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with Big Thicket National Preserve rangers and representatives of local nonprofits on how to protect wilderness. Reserve tickets at act.npca.org. Limited availability at the door.


Sacred Nature: Restoring Our Ancient Bond with the Natural World

On September 22, beginning at 7:30 p.m., The Progressive Forum will present a free, recorded livestream of the recent Houston appearance by acclaimed religious historian Karen Armstrong discussing her latest book, Sacred Nature: Restoring Our Ancient Bond with the Natural World. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the world’s religious traditions, Armstrong vividly describes nature’s central place in spirituality across the centuries. In bringing this age-old wisdom to life, Armstrong shows modern readers how to rediscover nature’s potency and form a connection to something greater than ourselves. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit progressiveforumhouston.org.


2023 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards applications open until September 23 

Each year, the Governor’s Office and commissioners from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality honor the state’s most outstanding environmental projects through the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. Winners from across the state exemplify how Texans set the standard for ensuring clean air, clean water, and the safe management of waste. The application period for the 2023 awards is now open. To see winners from 2013 to 2022, visit the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards webpage. Applications will be accepted through Friday, September 23.


Women in Coastal Science Series

On September 23, beginning at 9 a.m., Visit Galveston will host a Women in Coastal Science talk by Kristen Vale, Texas Coastal Program Coordinator for the American Bird Conservancy. At ABC, Kristen helps coordinate the protection, monitoring, and outreach of imperiled beach-nesting birds and nonbreeding bird species along the Texas Coast. Light refreshments provided. Breakfast cocktails and small bites available for purchase.The talk will be held at The Pavilion at East Beach Park, 1923 Boddeker Rd., Galveston. For more information and to register, visit visitgalveston.com.


“The Quest for Environmental and Climate Justice” featuring Dr. Robert Bullard

On September 23, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the University of Houston will host a lecture by Robert Bullard, Ph.D., a professor at Texas Southern University known as one of pioneers of environmental justice. Bullard will use examples from his research on Houston, the Gulf Coast, and beyond to show how race and class still map closely with pollution, unequal protection, and vulnerability. Reducing environmental, health, economic, and racial disparities is a major priority in the ongoing quest for environmental and climate justice. For more information and to register, visit uh.edu.


Texas Association for Environmental Education Conference

From September 23-25, the Texas Association for Environmental Education will hold its 45th Annual Conference at Camp Olivia in Trinity. Attendees will learn the latest in best practice for environmental education and have fun fishing, horseback riding, archery, birding, night hikes and of course smores, as well as connecting with fellow EE educators. For more information and to register, visit taee.org.


19th Annual Run in the Park

On September 24, beginning at 8 a.m., the Hermann Park Conservancy will hold its 19th annual Run in the Park, where participants will be able to run – or walk – to support the conservation efforts of the Conservancy. All proceeds from  Run in the Park  go towards the crucial work needed to maintain Hermann Park, which is an essential outdoor space for the community. With 5K and 10K routes, as well as a 1K kids’ route for the in-person event, exercise enthusiasts of all ages and abilities can come to explore the Park and enjoy the shaded trails enjoyed by millions of visitors per year. The Conservancy is also offering an at-home, virtual option from Sept. 18-24. For more information and to register, visit hermannpark.org.


25th Annual Woodlands Landscaping Solutions

On September 24, from 9 a.m.-noon, The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department, will hold a free garden event at the Rob Fleming Park Recreation Center. Visitors will learn tips and techniques from experts to make their own landscapes a water-wise and earth-friendly oasis. For more information, visit thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.


Houston Botanic Garden’s 2nd Birthday Party

On September 24, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Houston Botanic Garden will host a celebration of its second anniversary with the opening of “Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects® Made with LEGO® Bricks,” an award-winning outdoor exhibition that uses whimsical works of art made from simple toy blocks to explore the balance of ecosystems and mankind’s relationship with nature. The festivities will include nature-themed crafts, kid-friendly entertainment, guided tours, and birthday treats for everyone.​ For more information and to purchase tickets, visit hbg.org.

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Unplugged Adventure: Camping 101 & Outdoor Ethics

On September 24, from 10-11:30 a.m., Coastal Prairie Conservancy and REI will hold a class for beginning campers on what you need to take your first (or second or third) camping trip. The class will include: how to be warm, dry and comfortable camping, gear and equipment necessities, ideas for fun activities, and more. For more information and to register, visit coastalprairieconservancy.org.


National Drive Electric Week event

On September 24, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., the Houston Electric Automobile Association will hold a special event marking National Drive Electric Week, a nationwide celebration to raise awareness of the many benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more. A variety of  electric vehicles and their owners will be present to show and tell about their travel experiences,  everyday usage, charging, and other questions. The event will be held at Condit Elementary, 7000 S. 3rd Street, Bellaire. For more information and to register, visit driveelectricweek.org.


Parks and Natural Areas Awards nominations open

The nomination period for the 2022 Parks and Natural Areas Awards,  honoring parks and natural areas demonstrating outstanding practices in the Houston-Galveston region. opens Thursday, September 1. You are invited to submit your eligible park or natural area project(s) for recognition in one of the following categories: Planning Process and Policy Tools; On-the-Ground Projects Over $500K; On-the-Ground Projects Under $500K; Programming. Applications are due by 3 p.m. Thursday, September 29.  For more information about the awards process, visit h-gac.com.


Clear Lake chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas offers students grants for attending Texas Coastal Prairie Conference

The Texas Coastal Prairie Conference: Preserving Lands and Legacies will be held in October at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. The conference will include a full day of workshops and presentations on Friday, October 28, followed by field trips to remnant and restored prairies as well as working ranches and farms on Saturday, October 29. The Clear Lake Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas is offering conference registration fee grants to currently enrolled graduate and undergraduate students to enhance their understanding of native prairies and connections with like-minded conservationists. To apply visit this form. The deadline for applications is September 30. Questions about this opportunity may be sent to clear-lake-chapter@npsot.org.


Underserved Communities Coastal Habitat Restoration and Resilience Funding Opportunity applications due October 5

Up to $10 million in funding from NOAA is available for habitat restoration and resilience awards for underserved communities, to provide capacity for these communities to more fully participate in developing future transformational habitat projects under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Applications are due October 5. Learn more about these funding opportunities at fisheries.noaa.gov.


FALL BIRD MIGRATION

Lights Out, Texas!

Audubon Texas encourages all Texans to join us in participating in Lights Out Texas to protect migrating birds by turning off non-essential lights at night from 11 p.m. – 6 a.m. during the fall migration period through November 30. Where conflicts apply, prioritize lights out during the critical peak fall migration period ending October 29. Each night and each light turned out helps save migrating birds. As an added bonus, turning off non-essential lights also saves money and conserves energy for cities, local businesses, and homeowners. The Lights Out Texas initiative is supported by a coalition that includes conservation non-profits, local Audubon chapters, universities, museums, governmental organizations, businesses, and individual Texans dedicated to the conservation of birds. We Learn more about how you can help migrating birds along their migration journey by visiting tx.audubon.org.


Bird Migration Over Houston

On September 15, beginning at 7 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will hold a meeting at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center featuring a presentation by Cin-Ty Lee, professor of geology in the Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences at Rice University and author of the upcoming Field Guide to North American Flycatchers. He will discuss his most recent interests, using bioacoustics to monitor the nocturnal migration of birds over Houston and the ecological health of tropical forests. For more information, visit npsot.org.


Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza

On September 17 and 24, from 8 a.m.-noon, the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory,  299 Hwy 332 West in Lake Jackson, will hold the Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza. The takes place during the peak of Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration and will feature live hummingbird banding performed by experts. This is a great opportunity to see these incredible birds up close and in the hand. Learn all about their adaptations and get a great look at their beautiful plumage. There will be nature booths, activities for the kids, a hummingbird and butterfly plant sale. The nature gift shop will be open, and snacks and drink will be available for purchase. For more information, visit gcbo.org.


Purple Martin Migration Watch Party

On September 18 and 24, Houston Audubon is hosting Purple Martin Migration Watch Parties. Purple Martins migrate from South America beginning in late January to nest across North America. Before heading back south for the winter, Purple Martins gather in larger numbers and feed on flying insects to fuel up for their long journey. At dusk, groups of up to 500,000 come together to roost. Grab your friends and family, bring a lawn chair, and enjoy a unique experience. Learn more at houstonaudubon.org.

Book Discussion: The Narrow Edge

On September 22, from 12:30-1:30 p.m., the Nature Discussion Group at John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center in Cypress will discuss The Narrow Edge by Deborah Cramer. Each year red knots complete an epic 19,000-mile migration from South America to the Arctic and back. Join to learn about the interwoven lives of red knots, horseshoe crabs, and humans. This discussion is best suited for adults and older students with a keen interest in nature. For more information, visit apps.hcp4.net.


Bike Tour: Birds on Buffalo Bayou

On September 23, from 6-8:30 p.m., Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Bcycle will host What’s Growing On?, a nature-focused bike tour through Buffalo Bayou Park. BBP’s conservation team will highlight birding, in conjunction with Houston’s Bird Week to include the bat colony at Waugh Drive and egrets, hawks, and herons who make their home along Houston’s historic waterway.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit buffalobayou.org.


AviChat

On September 23, beginning at 1 p.m., Houston Audubon will host its second annual AviChat, a series of brief, informal, science talks about bird conservation and research in the greater Houston region. The presentations will be followed by a networking period with the purpose of starting conversations among people who could collaborate productively to further the mission of bird and wildlife conservation in the region. The event is being held at Rice University. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.



Beginner Birding

On September 24, from 9:30-11:30 a.m., the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center will hold a class providing an introduction to birding, including how to choose binoculars and where to find them, how to read a field guide, and where to find birds in Houston. Weather permitting, participants will also go out on the trails to practice real birding basics. For more information and to register, visit houstonarboretum.org.


Backyard Naturalists

On September 24, from 10-11 a.m., the John Paul Landing Environmental Education Center, 9950 Katy Hockley Rd., Cypress, will host a program will help you learn more about the natural world around your home and how you can provide for it. This month’s program will be held in connection with Houston Bird Week. This series is best suited for adults and children ages 10 and up. For more information, email johnpaullanding@hcp4.net or call 713-274-3131, or visit apps.hcp4.net.


Flock Together Photo Contest 2022 Awards Celebration

On September 24, from 5:30-7 p.m., Houston Audubon will hold the awards celebration for its Flock Together Photo Contest 2022, part of Houston Bird Week, at Land Sea and Sky, 1925A Richmond Ave. The top photos from the contest will be on display. For more information, visit houstonaudubon.org.



Fall Collision Monitoring with Houston Audubon

Houston Audubon invites members of the public to join a community science project where you can make a difference by collecting data that will help determine how we can protect migrating birds from window strike deaths. Collision monitoring will take place in the early mornings. Monitors will work in teams of 2-3, patrolling a 2-mile predetermined route around 10 buildings in downtown. Monitoring will continue through October and monitors can take as many or as few shifts as they like. For more information and to register, visit houstonaudubon.org.


Smith Point Hawk Watch

One of the great spectacles in nature is a sky full of swirling raptors soaring their way to central and South America for winter. Smith Point on the eastern shore of Galveston Bay, a natural concentration point for southwardly moving raptors in fall migration. The Smith Point Hawk Watch, a project of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory in partnership with Hawk Watch International and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, is an annual census of the raptors migrating through Smith Point each fall. Through November 30, the Hawk Watch is held daily at the Candy Abshier Wildlife Management Area where GCBO has a 30-foot observation tower. The hawk watch is staffed daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. You are invited to come out any day during the season. Learn more at gcbo.org.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Hermann Park Conservancy Special Volunteer Projects 

The Hermann Park Conservancy is offering several Special Volunteer Projects in September, including “Heart of the Park – Beautification and Habitat Restoration” projects on September 14, 15, and 16, from 9 a.m.-noon. All volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Please wear weather
appropriate clothing that is cool and comfortable and can get dirty, wet, or muddy. If its sunny and hot out there – consider wearing a wide brimmed hat. Meet at the Pedal Boat Kiosk. Park in Lot F.. For more information and to sign up, visit signupgenius.com.


Volunteer for Hermann Park Conservancy’s 19th Annual Run in the Park

The Hermann Park Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help out in various roles during the 19th Annual Run in the Park on September 24, from preparing the Park and registration packets before the event to serving as a wayfinder on the run route. Groups – school, corporate, clubs, church, scouts – are encouraged to join. For more information and to register, visit runsignup.com.



Keep Texas Beautiful Fall Sweep

Through November 20, Keep Texas Beautiful is coordinating the Fall Sweep for Texans who want to clean and beautify their local communities.The KTB Fall Sweep supports the efforts of KTB Affiliates, nonprofits, volunteers, corporations, scout groups and other community groups to organize fall cleanups and beautification projects. Registered participants will have access to an online event toolkit and receive trash bags and other cleanup supplies. KTB Fall Sweep events can take place in any public area such as parks, schools, main street/downtown, watershed areas and roadways. To participate, you can find a clean up in your community by searching the events calendar, contact a KTB affiliate, or organize your own community clean up. More information about starting your own clean up (or finding one near you) is available at ktb.org.


Volunteer Houston offers opportunities

Volunteer Houston, an initiative of Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, connects individuals, groups, and companies with nonprofit agencies to transform the Greater Houston community for good through volunteerism. For opportunities to volunteer on environmental projects, visit VolunteerHouston and sort the opportunities by “environmental”.


CONTESTS


2022 Wild “InSight” Photo Contest

TWRC Wildlife Center is holding its 4th Wild “InSight” Photo Contest, which raises funds for the Wildlife Center operations and Animal Care Program. Submissions will be accepted through September 26. TWRC Wildlife Center is also seeking sponsors for its 2023 WildInSight Calendar. Contact Anna Saxton for more information. For more information, visit twrcwildlifecenter.org.


Houston Pubic Works Imagine a Day Without Water TikTok Contest

As part of the national education campaign “Imagine a Day Without Water”, Houston Public Works is hosting a TikTok contest all about water with a $1000 prize. Show your love for WATER! Sing a song, read a poem, play your instrument, create a dance, act out a skit, or show your best water conservation tip. The judges are looking for creative entries. Let the value of water inspire you! To enter the contest post a TikTok video inspired by water and hashtag #ValueWaterHouston. Submissions are being accepted through October 3. For full information and submission guidelines, visit givewaterabreak.org.


Take Care of Texas Video Contest

The Take Care of Texas Video Contest is a fun way for young people in grades 6–12 to learn about protecting the environment and come up with creative ways to share this knowledge with others! Students create a 30-second video that shows positive ways to Take Care of Texas. Contest sponsor Waste Management of Texas, Inc. will award prizes to the creators of the best videos. Entries may be submitted through December 2. For full information and submission guidelines, visit takecareoftexas.org.


Reminders About Ongoing Opportunities

  • H-GAC seeks volunteers for Plogging, Plalking, and Pladdling Pilot Group, The Houston-Galveston Area Council is seeking volunteers to help pilot and provide feedback on newly created resources designed to engage residents and recreationists in the activities of plogging, plalking, pliking and pladdling. The project team is looking for local governments, Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates, and recreation groups willing to pilot all or specific portions of the resources and provide their feedback upon completion. The pilot period is open through September with feedback collected via a survey. If you are interested in participating, contact Crysta Guzman or Kendall Guidroz at any time during the pilot period.
  • An Immense World book discussion group for the Season of Creation. On Thursdays through October 6, Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church will mark the Season of Creation by hosting a virtual discussion group of the book An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms. In the book, science writer Ed Yong pulls together recent research on other animals’ ways of perceiving and making sense of the world. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  • Living the Change weekly discussion group. On Wednesdays through November 30, the Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston is hosting a virtual discussion group developed in response to the Walk on Earth Gently multifaith statement. Inspired by religious teachings to turn away from consumerism and to seek balanced relationships with all people and the planet, For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.
  • Creation Care 101. Through April 13, members of the Christian faith are invited to take part in a free online course, Creation Care 101, and begin a journey of restoring faith, justice, and creation. Each session will feature talks from leading theologians and scientists, inspiring stories from churches, facilitated heart-led conversation, and tools for practical implementation. Register at creationcarecollective.org. Lisa Brenskelle will act as facilitator for the Lutherans Restoring Creation group, providing additional resources and insights. To join her group and get the additional resources, please indicate “Lutherans Restoring Creation” as your church/group when you register. Contact Lisa at gcs.lrc@gmail.com for more information.

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.

  • On the edge of El Paso is a desert destination people have been visiting for thousands of years. The beauty of this West Texas oasis is on full display at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, where stories are told through hundreds of Native American pictographs
  • Making the outdoors more accessible for everyone is Sandy Heath’s mission. As the first Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for Texas Parks and Wildlife, she has cleared the path for people with disabilities to get out and enjoy the outdoors
  • Texas leads the country in wind energy production, and with this new energy source there are new questions. How will wind farms affect the birds that live and migrate through our state? Head to the coast to see how wind farms use radar technology to spot migrating birds coming their way
  • Check out a snake that often gets a bad rap. Herpetologist Andy Gluesenkamp introduces you to the Texas Rat Snake
  • On a ranch in South Texas, biologists are tapping the latest technology, and fitting turkey with tiny backpacks, to learn where the turkey lurk. With this data, scientists are gaining a better understanding of the habitat needs of Rio Grande turkey populations. See how these findings may benefit turkey and all who enjoy them

Additional Upcoming Events


Check out the latest Green Jobs at cechouston.org/green-jobs/.