Houston Environmental News Update September 21, 2022

National Estuaries Week, The Quest for Environmental Justice, Run in the Park, National Electric Drive Week, Take Me Outdoors Houston, Green Jobs, and more

Dear Friends,

We’re in the midst of National Estuaries Week, which runs September 17-24. The goal of National Estuaries Week is to show members of Congress, federal agencies, and state and local governments the importance of America’s estuaries by showcasing the value they provide communities.

The Galveston Bay Estuary Program, CEC’s newest member organization, is one of two estuary programs in Texas and one of 28 National Estuary Programs in the country. GBEP is the lead organization in the region in sponsoring National Estuaries Week programs and events. GBEP is a non-regulatory program administered by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, charged with implementing the Galveston Bay Plan, with a mission to preserve Galveston Bay for generations to come. Learn more about GBEP here.

There are a few ways you can get involved in National Estuaries Week – host a clean up, restoration project, or other event at your local estuary. Be sure to register your event at the Restore America’s Estuaries Event Registration Page. Second, share your support for National Estuaries Week on social media using the hashtag #EstuariesWeek and #WadeIn while also tagging your members of Congress.

You can learn more about efforts to preserve and restore Galveston Bay at the Back the Bay website.

Some planned events include Houston Bird Week, continuing through September 24, a week of virtual and in-person events centered around our region’s birds and wildlife. See details in the Fall Bird Migration section below. There are also a variety of Volunteer Opportunities, which you can find below.

Top image: The Coastal Heritage Preserve, taken by Cynthia Clevenger for Galveston Bay Estuary Program


CEC NOTES


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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 23, 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


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 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.

Public meetings on Harris County bond propositions

On November 8, 2022, voters in Harris County will have the opportunity to vote on three propositions for the issuance of bonds totaling $1.2 billion. This bond package would provide funding for multiple categories, including public safety facilities, roads, drainage and transportation-related programs, and parks and trails. The County is collecting community input through meetings, online tools and comment submissions. This input will be shared with Harris County Precinct staff as they make decisions regarding future projects that could be funded through these bonds. A series of community engagement meetings is being held through October 20 to share information on the bond and gather input from the community. Find the full schedule of meetings and information about other ways to provide input at harriscounty2022bond.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.


New York Times: At 75, the Father of Environmental Justice Meets the Moment

“He’s known as the father of environmental justice, but more than half a century ago he was just Bob Bullard from Elba, a flyspeck town deep in Alabama that didn’t pave roads, install sewers or put up streetlights in areas where Black families like his lived. His grandmother had a sixth grade education,” writes Cara Buckley for The New York Times. “Now, more than four decades after Robert Bullard took an unplanned career turn into environmentalism and civil rights, the movement he helped found is clocking one of its biggest wins yet. Some $60 billion of the $370 billion in climate spending passed by Congress last month has been earmarked for environmental justice, which calls for equal environmental protections for all, the cause to which Dr. Bullard has devoted his life.” To read the full story, visit nytimes.com. (Photo: Michael Starghill, Jr., for The New York Times)


Houston high school senior Anika Shethia named to World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council

Anika Shethia, a Houston high school senior, has been named to the latest cohort of the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council, which helps develop World Ocean Day as a unique opportunity to raise the profile of the global ocean, connect and unite youth and others around the blue planet, and focus collective action on creating a healthier ocean and climate. Anika co-leads Houston Youth Climate Strike, where she helped launch the Stories from a City of Storms project. Anika also leads the Youth Engagement Working Group for the Mayor’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability. To read more about Anika and the other members of the Youth Advisory Council, visit worldoceanday.org.


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 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.


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.


Sierra Student Coalition Fall Open House

On September 22, beginning at 7 p.m., the Sierra Student Coalition – which trains, supports, and organizes youth to run effective campaigns and develop as leaders in service of movements for climate, racial and economic justice – will hold its Fall Open House, where representatives will outline the specific pathways offered to youth when plugging into the organization. To register, visit sierraclub.zoom.us.


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.



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 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.


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.


Tree Giveaway

On September 24, from 9 a.m.-noon, Trees for Houston will hold a tree giveaway partnership at the White Oak Music Hall, 2915 N. Main Street. Species will include American Beautyberry, Buttonbush, Loblolly Pine, Overcup Oak, Pecan, Virgina Wilow. For more information, visit treesforhouston.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.


Take Me Outdoors Houston

On September 24, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Discovery Green and Texas Parks and Wildlife will host the 12th annnual Take Me Outdoors Houston, a free, family-friendly festival where attendees can discover the wonders of nature, starting with the animals and resources in Houston’s own backyard. For more information, visit discoverygreen.com.


Exhibit opening: And what was the desert like?

On September 24, from 6-8:30 p.m., the Houston Climate Justice Museum & Cultural Center will host an opening reception the exhibit And what was the desert like? It was like a large brownish mess and a rusty machine and a dot in a line, visual artist and writer Saúl Hernández-Vargas gathers a series of videos, sculptures, and performative gestures that invoke the ghosts and the specters of the borderlands, and that listen carefully, attentively, even furiously to the echoes, the breath, and the resonances of their voices. This series troubles and jolts the narratives that naturalize border territories (desert, rivers, oceans) as infrastructures of the Nation-State. It also highlights the convergence of climate change-fueled drought and NAFTA policies that have made displacement and migration issues of even graver concern. During the event, Hernández-Vargas will be in dialogue with Marina Azahua and Eddie Canales. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Karen Stokes Dance: Mapping & Glaciers

Through September 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.


How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

On September 25, from 6-7 p.m., Christ the King Evangelical Lutheran Church will present a webinar featuring Hyun-Min Hwang, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at Texas Southern University, who will discuss how individuals can make significant reductions in their own carbon footprints. Time for interactive discussion with the speaker will be provided. For more information and to register, visit eventbirte.com.


Interesting Times: An Update and Outlook for Energy

On September 27, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m, The Houston Economics Club will host a presentation by Jesse Thompson, senior business economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who will provide a broad overview of the energy industry including U.S. upstream. downstream, global energy and the energy transition. The event will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch, 1801 Allen Parkway. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Clear Creek Watershed Partnership meeting

On September 28, from 5:30-7:30 pm., the Clear Creek Watershed Partnership, a voluntary, locally-led effort is designed to address water quality issues in the Clear Creek Watershed of Fort Bend, Brazoria, Harris, and Galveston counties, will hold a virtual meeting. At this meeting, we will be discussing the causes and sources of fecal waste pollution in the watershed. To register, visit zoom.us.


Garden & Nature Series: Fabulous Figs!

On September 28, from 6-7 p.m., Hermann Park Conservancy will host a discussion celebrating regional fig culture with Galveston County AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agent Stephen Brueggerhoff. He will discuss the local and global history of figs, provide tips for tree management, and recommended varieties for home production. The event will be held at the Family Garden of McGovern Centennial Garden. For more information and to register. visit hermannpark.org.


Prairie Restoration and Preservation at Armand Bayou Nature Center

On September 28, beginning at 7 p.m., the Houston chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas will hold a virtual meeting featuring a presentation by Tim Pylate of the helm of Armand Bayou Nature Center. He will discuss prairie restoration and reservation at the ABNC, one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the United States which contains 2,500 acres of the natural wetlands forest, prairie and marsh habitats once abundant in the Houston and Galveston area. ABNC is home to over 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians and strives to educate and inspire people of all ages to explore, respect, and protect nature and our vital local ecosystems. To register for the meeting. visit zoom.us.


The 19th Annual Bayou Preservation Association Symposium

From September 28-29, the Bayou Preservation Association will hold its 19th Annual Symposium virtually, with the theme “The Cost of Doing Nothing – Opting for Resilience.” As regional leaders focus on building a resilient, sustainable community, we want to inspire action to support these efforts and to discuss how we manage this new normal in the region. The symposium we will provide an update sustainable on solutions implementation in the area and present an ‘action agenda’ including ways attendees can help our region avoid the ‘cost’ of inaction. For more information and to register, visit bayoupreservation.org.


2022 Texas Tree Conference

From September 28-29, the Texas chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture will hold its 2002 Texas Tree Conference at the Waco Convention Center. The conference will feature education programs featuring nationally known speakers in research, commercial, utility and municipal arboriculture, urban forestry, urban planning and landscape architecture, an expanded trade show, an awards luncheon, and numerous networking opportunities. For more information and to register, visit isatexas.com.


Annual Energy Summit — Risks and Opportunities: Energy Transitions Meet Energy Security

From September 28-29, the Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies and Baker Botts L.L.P. will co-host their annual energy conference. This year’s event will tackle what is arguably the largest issue facing energy markets and the world today: the complexity of balancing energy security needs with energy transition goals. In particular, the conference will address how the energy industry is responding to recent geopolitical and market events, how these developments will impact the momentum of a meaningful energy transition and what this means for domestic and foreign energy and security policy. For more information and to register, visit bakerinstitute.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.


LINK Houston Celebration and Fundraiser

On September 29, from 6-8 p.m., LINK Houston will host a reception and fundraiser welcoming new Executive Director Gabe Casares. Proceeds will help support the organization’s advocacy for transportation equity and climate justice. The event will be held at LINK Houston’s offices at WeWork, 708 Main Street. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.com.


Evolve Houston eMobility micrgrants applications extended to Sept. 30

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. The deadline for applications has been extended to September 30. To learn more and apply, visit apply.evolvehouston.org.


The Future of Urban Food Systems Summit

On September 30, from 9 a.m.-noon, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension will host The Future of Urban Food Systems Summit to provide a forum to delve into the opportunities and challenges for urban food systems in Harris CountyFood deserts and food insecurity are critical issues for Harris and other urban counties across the state and country. The summit will help not only urban ag producers but also policymakers understand some of these challenges and how they can utilize new ideas and practices. The program will address topics that are relevant to the here and now and allow attendees to leave with a renewed motivation to help fix the problem. For more information and to register, visit eventbrite.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.


Laudato Si’

On October 1, from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston will host Laudato Si: Faith in Action for Our Common Home, a conference on environmental issues and the duty of the Church to respond. The event will be held at the auditorium of St. Dominic Village, 2403 Holcombe Blvd. Panel discussions will include “Fighting for the Future of Our Planet”, “Air, Land, and Water in Houston”, and “Faith in Action”. For full details, including speaker bios, and to register, visit archgh.cvent.com.





Texas Academy for Marine Policy launches with webinar series

Beginning October 4, Texas Sea Grant is launching the Texas Academy for Marine Policy with an aim of creating educational opportunities for Texas graduate to learn and engage in the field of science policy. This webinar series delivers an introduction to local and federal government, an overview on science policy, a discussion of tools for science communication, and provides exposure to potential fellowships and opportunities in science policy for the future. The webinar series is free, not-for-credit, and geared towards Texas graduate students who are interested in marine policy but may not have an opportunity or time to take a for-credit course in this field. To register for the series, visit tx.ag/MarinePolicy.


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.


A Big Picture View of Protecting Houston’s 22 Bayous and Waterways

In the latest installment of the “Houston & Nature” podcast, host Nivien Saleh speaks with Brittani Flowers, president and CEO of the Bayou Preservation Association, who discusses why Houston’s bayous and waterways are such great assets and how we can leverage them to realize the promise of the bayou city. She also explains why she is so skeptical of the big tunnelization project that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would like to bring to Houston. To hear the podcast. visit houstonnature.com.


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.


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.



Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza

On September 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.


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.




Purple Martin Migration Watch Party

On September 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.


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 Celebration

On October 1, from 10 a.m.-1 pm., the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory will hold its Smith Point Hawk Watch Celebration. There will be food, drinks, a raptor presentation, and some live raptors on display. And, as always plenty of raptors soaring through the sky. GCBO staff and volunteers will be manning the tower, monitoring the birds and pointing them out to guests. Visitors will be able to look through scopes and binoculars and see the migration up close. For more information, visit gcbo.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


Bolivar Flats Cleanup

On September 24, from 9 a.m.-noon, Houston Audubon invites you to help clean up the shoreline at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary. Your efforts will help prepare the sanctuary for the thousands of migrants coming through during spring migration and help provide clean habitat for our beach-nesting birds. Houston Audubon will provide gloves, grabbers, trash bags, and water to refill your reusable containers. Please dress accordingly for the weather and sun protection. For more information, visit houstonaudubon.org.


4th Saturday Volunteer Workday at Deer Park Prairie

The Houston chapter of the Native Prairie Association of Texas invites you to volunteer at the Lawther Deer Park Prairie on September 24 from 9 a.m. to approximately noon. The address and additional information will be provided once you register, which is required. To register, send an email to Della_Barbato@TexasPrairie.org.


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

  • 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.

  • Greg Lasley was a lieutenant in the Austin Police Department. But Greg would also joke that he led a secret life, traveling the world, photographing nature and all its creatures. When Greg died after a long illness, the Internet lit up with tributes. He gave so that the rest of us could see his world
  • Since first opening in the 1990s, Cooper Lake State Park has become an outdoor recreation hotspot in Northeast Texas. Fishing, hiking, swimming and camping are just a few things to do in and around the 20,000 acre lake
  • Landowners, conservationists, and visitors alike have a love affair with the Devils River. This remote river valley is about as wild as Texas gets. But there are threats to this natural place, and that has the river’s passionate admirers concerned
  • Crystal-clear water flows through riffles and rapids of the Devils River and takes a picturesque plunge over Dolan Falls

Additional Upcoming Events


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