Houston Environmental News Update February 23, 2022

Welcome Paige Powell as interim executive director; Call for Artists: Houston Inspira, How to Stop Plastic Waste, Whooping Crane Festival, TWRC Wildlife Center Chili Cook Off, Green Jobs and more

Dear Friends,

As the new Interim Executive Director of Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, I would like to express how honored I am at the opportunity to help guide this organization through its current leadership transition. I am deeply committed to the environmental movement and take seriously the charge of carrying our collective work forward. 

In the next few months, as we begin reviewing our staffing and structural needs, we plan to send out a member survey to capture your thoughts as to what CEC means to you, its role in the Greater Houston Region, and how you would like to see us grow. It is my hope that we can become more efficient and effective in the execution of our mission for the benefit of all our endeavors.

To that end, I would like to place a formal call for board-level committee members to help guide and implement CEC’s important work. We are in need of experienced professionals who are interested in helping support our programs, communications, membership, and development. Please email me or our 2022 Board President Steve Stelzer about getting connected. 

We are gearing up for a great Spring season, with lots of wonderful events and campaigns already underway. If you’d like to get involved, you can:

Of course, you can always make a donation to support our work and help ensure that we have the organizational capacity to serve our beloved environmental community through the rest of 2022 and beyond.

Thank you so much for all that you do.

Paige P. Powell
Interim Executive Director
Citizens’ Environmental Coalition

The photo above is of red maple flowers, iNaturalist Photo 13407100, (c) astamatis, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC). Cropped.


CEC NOTES


Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Engage your students with lessons outdoors or virtually. Sign up today at hereinhouston.org.

Join fellow environmental educators every other Friday morning for a quick check-in to collaborate. 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. The next meeting will be held Feb. 25, 2022 from 8:30-9 a.m. Click on this Zoom link to join. Email Alicia at amein@hcp4.net for any questions.


Call for Artists: Houston Inspira public health storytelling campaign

Citizen’s Environmental Coalition is proud to be an Environmental Partner with the City of Houston in the just-launched the Houston Inspira project.  Houston Inspira, an EPA-funded project, seeks artists, musicians, playwrights, dancers, writers, and all creatives to engage with communities to educate, inform and activate via storytelling in all forms/disciplines. The project, headed by Houston Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, will occur in five Complete Communities – Acres Homes, Alief/Westwood, Kashmere Gardens, Near Northside, and Second Ward. This project will focus on risks communities face from elevated levels of environmental pollutants, primarily PM2.5 (strongly associated with concrete batch plants) and benzene both of which can increase and exacerbate the health risks associated with COVID-19. The selected storyteller will work with the City of Houston, environmental and community stakeholders over a six-month period in a selected community. A virtual information session will be held on Feb. 28, 2022. The deadline for artists’ submissions is March 31, 2022. Houston artists/creatives can learn more about the project and apply at moca.submittable.com.


Earth Day Houston: April 10, 2022 from 12-5 p.m.

Presented in partnership with the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Discovery Green’s citywide Earth Day celebration is designed to educate, inspire and encourage action. Learn more about attending, exhibiting, and volunteering at Earthdayhouston.org.

Exhibitor spaces are available starting at $150 for nonprofit organizations, government entities, and small, local businesses. Register here. Early bird fees end and fees increase after March 10! Exhibitor Deadline: 3/31/22

Call for Presenters: Are you an educator with a 20-minute presentation that you would like to share with the Earth Day Houston crowd? Sign up to join us on the “infotainment” stage at Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Houston Festival 2022. For more information, email earthday@cechouston.org.


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


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Learn about additional public comment opportunities at cechouston.org.

Vote: Texas Primaries

Early voting for the Texas primaries runs through Feb. 25, 2022, with Election Day on March 1, 2022. Not sure whether you are registered or how to register? Want to see what will be on the ballot, or where to vote? You can visit votetexas.gov or contact the elections office for your county (listed below).

As always, we encourage you to visit the League of Women Voters of Houston website–and their national voting website vote411.com–to learn more about elections. The League is a nonpartisan organization that believes in the power of every person to create a more perfect democracy and provide helpful information about candidates and recent changes to the Texas Election Code.


H-GAC Transportation Policy Council Meeting

On Feb. 25, 2022, beginning at 9:30 a.m., the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s Transportation Policy Council will hold a virtual meeting. During the meeting, members of the TPC will vote on the Final Draft of the 2022-updated Regionally Coordinated Transportation Plan (RCTP), now available online. Find the full meeting agenda and details on how to attend at h-gac.com.

Continue reading

Houston Environmental News Update February 16, 2022

20th Anniversary Crab Trap Removal, VOTE, In Too Deep, SPLASh Volunteer Cleanups, Great Backyard Bird Count, Invasive Species Workshop, Green Jobs and more


Photo courtesy Christmas Bay Foundation, (c) Jim Olive

When Christmas Bay Foundation first hosted a crab trap removal event in February 2002, biologists estimated that over 11,000 organisms representing 21 species were saved, with blue crab and stone crab representing 76% of the organisms observed. Galveston Bay Foundation organized an event which resulted in the removal of 3,214 traps. That year, 554 volunteers representing over 60 organizations, businesses, and government entities helped remove 8,070 traps with over 11,000 organisms from systems along the Texas coast, according to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. Since 2002, volunteers with Christmas Bay Foundation, Galveston Bay Foundation, and other coordinators have removed over 40,000 abandoned traps from Texas waters. 

The Abandoned Crab Trap Removal Program (ACTRP) was created by Senate Bill 1410 during the 77th (2001) Legislative session. This bill granted the TPWD Commission authority to create a ten-day crab trap closure that begins the third Friday of each February. Crab traps left in the water during this time are considered litter and may be disposed of appropriately.  Before this law, only law enforcement officials could legally remove abandoned crab traps from Texas’ marine waters.

Volunteers are needed to assist in the coast-wide effort to remove the numerous traps that have been lost or abandoned since last year’s cleanup. Volunteers may focus their efforts on February 19 or work at their own pace anytime during the closure, but traps cannot be removed before or after the 10-day window. Learn more at tpwd.texas.gov.

On February 19, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., the Galveston Bay Foundation will host host two crab trap removal events in Anahuac and Bolivar. Volunteers can drop traps off at one of several established trap drop sites around Galveston Bay. GBF is recruiting volunteers with boats to assist with locating and removing traps from Trinity Bay and East Bay. People without boats can still assist. For more information and to register, visit galvbay.org.


CEC NOTES


Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Engage your students with lessons outdoors or virtually. Sign up today at hereinhouston.org.

Join fellow environmental educators every other Friday morning for a quick check-in to collaborate. 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. The next meeting will be held Feb. 25, 2022 from 8:30-9 a.m. Click on this Zoom link to join. Email Alicia at amein@hcp4.net for any questions.


Earth Day Houston: April 10, 2022 from 12:00-5:00 p.m.

Presented in partnership with the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, Discovery Green’s citywide Earth Day celebration is designed to educate, inspire and encourage action. Learn more about attending, exhibiting, and volunteering at Earthdayhouston.org.

Call for Presenters: Are you an educator with a 20-minute presentation that you would like to share with the Earth Day Houston crowd? Sign up to join us on the “infotainment” stage at Green Mountain Energy Earth Day Houston Festival 2022. For more information, email earthday@cechouston.org.


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


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

Learn about additional public comment opportunities at cechouston.org.

Vote: Texas Primaries

Early voting for the Texas primaries runs through Feb. 25, 2022, with Election Day on March 1, 2022. Not sure whether you are registered or how to register? Want to see what will be on the ballot, or where to vote? You can visit votetexas.gov or contact the elections office for your county (listed below).

As always, we encourage you to visit the League of Women Voters of Houston website–and their national voting website vote411.com–to learn more about elections. The League is a nonpartisan organization that believes in the power of every person to create a more perfect democracy and provide helpful information about candidates and recent changes to the Texas Election Code.


National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call

EPA invites Environmental Justice (EJ) advocates to participate in the next National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call on Feb. 22, 2022 from 1-3 p.m. (Central Time). The purpose of these calls is to inform the public about EPA’s environmental justice work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with environmental justice advocates. These calls are free and open to the public. Register at eventbrite.com.

Continue reading

Houston Environmental News Update February 9, 2022

VOTE on Valentines Day! Cupid Cruises, Blackwood Skyfarm Valentine, Living Roofs for Living Cities, Walk on the Wild Side, Super Bowl Sunday Hike, Photographic Texas Prairies, Green Jobs and more


Celebrate on Monday, February 14, 2022, with votes & valentines. Early voting for the Texas primaries begins on Feb. 24, and end on Feb. 25, with Election Day on March 1, 2022.

Not sure whether you are registered or how to register? Want to see what will be on the ballot, or where to vote? You can visit votetexas.gov or contact the elections office for your county (listed below).

As always, we encourage you to visit the League of Women Voters of Houston website–and their national voting website vote411.com–to learn more about elections. The League is a nonpartisan organization that believes in the power of every person to create a more perfect democracy and provide helpful information about candidates and recent changes to the Texas Election Code.

For additional information about environmental voting, visit the Environmental Voter Project, because when environmentalists don’t vote, politicians don’t listen.


Cupid Cruises on Buffalo Bayou

Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s pontoon tour boat for a cozy cruise with your Valentine. Bubbly beverages and chocolate bites will be provided during a romantic evening boat ride with spectacular views of downtown Houston. Learn more at buffalobayou.org.


Valentine’s Day Reception at the Blackwood Skyfarm

On Monday, Feb., 14, 2022, celebrate Valentine’s Day with Blackwood Educational Land Institute and POST Houston at a fundraising reception for the Blackwood Skyfarm! Learn about Blackwood Educational Land Institute and hear about plans for the one-of-a-kind, one-acre rooftop farm atop POST Houston while enjoying wine and dessert with the Houston skyline as the backdrop. Sip and sow into the early evening with eco-friendly wines specially selected by friends at Central City Co-Op and a seasonal dessert made by Blackwood’s very own Chef Cade. Purchase tickets at blackwoodland.org.


CEC NOTES


Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers

Engage your students with lessons outdoors or virtually. Sign up today at hereinhouston.org.

Join fellow environmental educators every other Friday morning for a quick check-in to collaborate. 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. The next meeting will be held Feb. 11, 2022 from 8:30-9 a.m. Click on this Zoom link to join. Email Alicia at amein@hcp4.net for any questions.


The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change: The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration offers a free resource which offers a clear overview of the physical science of climate change while addressing the social science that makes teaching about it a different kind of challenge than teaching photosynthesis (for example). The book and online presentation also dig into the science and its scary implications without losing hope. The session will include an overview of the book, discussion of how and why to keep hope in approaching the teaching of climate change, and some time for open discussion. Learn more and find the materials at oceanservice.noaa.gov.


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


OPPORTUNITIES FOR PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT

National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call

EPA invites Environmental Justice (EJ) advocates to participate in the next National Environmental Justice Community Engagement Call on Feb. 22, 2022 from 1-3 p.m. (Central Time). The purpose of these calls is to inform the public about EPA’s environmental justice work and enhance opportunities to maintain an open dialogue with environmental justice advocates. These calls are free and open to the public. Register at eventbrite.com.

Continue reading