Houston Environmental News Update October 14, 2020

Galas Galore, Wild About Houston, Low Carbon Energy Summit, Clean Waters Initiative, UH Energy Symposium, The Policy of Resilience, Big Thicket Day, Livable Places Initiative, Green Jobs, and more

‘Tis the season for our community to come together to support the many organizations that work to protect and improve the environment in the Houston / Gulf Coast region. Here is a partial list of galas and other annual events you can look forward to this year. And don’t forget CEC’s Wild About Houston Green Film Festival on October 21 and November 18, 2020!

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


CEC NOTES


Tickets on Sale: Wild About Houston Green Film Festival

The CEC is proud to host the third annual Wild About Houston Green Film Festival. The virtual festival will tell the story of local environmental issues, their champions and how you can make a difference. This year, the number and quality of film submissions was so great that CEC will host two nights of programming: October 21 and November 18, 2020. Each night will feature different films. A few of the best local films will be shown at the January 2021 Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour. Tune in to the live program to vote for your favorite film, or register to receive a link to watch the on-demand program later. In addition to pay-what you-can tickets, you can pre-order a delicious meal featuring local, organic food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen. Register at eventbrite.com. If you are interested in sponsorship, visit cechouston.org.


Save the Date: Justice and Transformation: Houston Women on Climate Action, Oct. 28, 2020

On October 28, 2020, please join Rice University’s Fondren Library for a discussion on justice and climate. This virtual panel will bring together four Houston women whose work addresses climate justice: Dr. Denae King (TSU), Dr. Cymene Howe (Rice), Amy Catherine Dinn (Lone Star Legal Aid), and Iris Gonzalez (Coalition for Environment, Equity & Resilience (CEER)). CEC is pleased to be a cosponsor of this event. Learn more at library.rice.edu/JusticeTransformation.


Support the environment through workplace giving

If you work for employers such as the City of Houston, the State of Texas, or HISD, among many other public and private workplaces, remember that the fall is campaign season for most employee workplace giving programs. Employees are offered the chance to select from many charitable organizations to support through payroll contributions. You can give to CEC via EarthShare of Texas, as one of 60 local, regional and national environmental organizations supported by EarthShare of Texas. You can designate individual organizations or let EarthShare of Texas divide it equally among their participating organizations. A complete list of participating workplaces is available at www.earthshare-texas.org. For more information about EarthShare of Texas, including information about how your organization can offer workplace giving, please visit www.earthshare-texas.org or call 800-GREENTX. Look for the the CEC’s code number under the EarthShare of Texas heading in workplace giving campaign literature at all state agencies (035569), at HISD (0111) and at the City of Houston (1413). Please consider CEC in your workplace giving program!


Be CEC’s Neighbor at MECA

CEC’s office is at MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling for the Arts) in the historic Dow School in the Old Sixth Ward off of Memorial Drive just outside of downtown. Studios (aka classrooms) are available, including one right next to CEC! (We might even share our conference room.) Learn more at meca-houston.org or email [email protected] to get the scoop.


PUBLIC ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Let’s Talk Houston: Livable Places Action Committee Meeting

The recently launched Livable Places initiative is a continuation of the City of Houston Planning Department’s effort to update portions of Houston’s development codes to create more opportunities for walkability, affordability and equity. On Oct. 20, 2020, from 3-5 p.m., the Living Places Action Committee will hold a regular meeting which begins the Committee’s Public Engagement process. For more information, including how to attend the meeting, visit houstontx.gov. Learn more about engagement opportunities with the Planning Department’s Let’s Talk Houston website.

Through Oct. 31, 2020: City of Houston Draft Long-Range Solid Waste Plan

The City of Houston Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD) is excited to announce the creation of an updated Long-Range Solid Waste Management Plan covering waste and recycling programs for Houston until 2040. The draft plan will provide for sustainable materials management for the Houston area for the next 20 years. SWMD welcomes comments through Oct. 31, 2020. Learn more at houstontx.gov/solidwaste/longrange/index.html. Residents are encouraged to provide comments on surveymonkey.com.

Through Nov. 2, 2020: Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study Interim Feasibility Report released

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District, along with the Harris County Flood Control District, recently released an Interim Feasibility Report for the Buffalo Bayou and Tributaries Resiliency Study. The purpose of the study is to evaluate alternatives with the goal of helping to reduce flooding under a range of flood events. Information sessions are scheduled for Oct. 15, 22, and 26. Learn more at usace.army.mil.


COALITION & COMMUNITY NOTES

We have endeavored to confirm the opportunities listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts, particularly in light of concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Continue reading

Harris County Commissioners Court Agenda – October 13, 2020

A virtual meeting of the Harris County Commissioners Court will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2020, for the purpose of considering and taking action on matters brought before the Court.

The agenda items include multiple recommendations from the County Engineer regarding the purchase of land for flood control and hurricane recovery; engineering services with various contractors for improvements to drainage/infrastructure improvement projects; and the sale of pipeline easements in Challenger Memorial Park to pipeline companies.

The agenda items also include multiple recommendations from the Flood Control District regarding agreements with various engineering services for the monitoring and maintenance of watersheds including Cypress Creek; as well as the application for a loan to address chronic flooding in the White Oak Bayou.

Other highlights of the agenda include a request from Pollution Control Services for funds for laboratory improvements; a request from the County Library for approval to plant an edible forest at the Evelyn Meador Branch Library; requests from the Flood Control District to apply for approximately $460 million in CDBG-Mitigation grants for hurricane recovery/flood control; and a request from the Commissioner of Precinct One to hold a public hearing on Oct. 27, 2020 regarding developments to Challenger Seven Memorial Park, as well as a request for the recognition of the second Monday in October as Indigenous People’s Day (in addition to Columbus Day).

Continue reading

Houston Environmental News Update October 7, 2020

National Wildlife Refuge Week, Friday Night Bug Lights, Solid Waste Plan, NAAEE Research Symposium & Conference, Implementing Climate Action & Resilience, Low Carbon Energy Summit, UH Energy Symposium, Green Jobs, and more

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge is a excellent location for wildlife watching.

Rediscover your nature at a national wildlife refuge. National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed the second full week of October each year, celebrates the great network of lands and waters that conserves and protects Americans’ precious wildlife heritage.

The National Wildlife Refuge System, managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides vital habitat for thousands of native species, including Attwater Prairie Chickens, American alligators,and sea turtles. Millions of Americans visit refuges each year to enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, and wildlife watching.

Have you visited any of the wildlife refuges in the region? You can find nearby refuges using the USFWS “Find a Wildlife Refuge” tool. If you are in the Houston region, you are probably within about an hour drive of at least one of the refuges. Our local refuges* include:

Rafinesque’s big-eared bat–
getting ready for October 31.

Don’t think you’ll make it out to a refuge any time soon? You are in luck! The Houston Community Partnerships & Engagement program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service‘ Urban Wildlife Conservation Program is bringing the refuges to you! Here are just a few of the ways you can engage:

*While refuge units are open for recreation, units may be subject to sudden access restrictions with little to no advance notice. Be aware that public building operations are temporarily suspended – including visitor centers, nature stores, and flush toilet bathrooms. Please plan ahead and come prepared.

Please scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community.


CEC NOTES

Trivia Night: Water World

Did you know? Six billion gallons of treated water are lost every day. On Oct. 14, 2020 from 6-7 p.m., CEC is partnering with Houston Public Works to discuss water usage in our world and test your knowledge on the subject. This is a family friendly, virtual event! Any money raised will go to the Houston Water Aid to Elderly Residents (WATER) Fund, which provides assistance to senior citizens in need. Learn more and sign up at eventbrite.


Tickets on Sale: Wild About Houston Green Film Festival

The CEC is proud to host the third annual Wild About Houston Green Film Festival. The virtual festival will tell the story of local environmental issues, their champions and how you can make a difference. This year, the number and quality of film submissions was so great that we decided to host two nights of programming: October 21 and November 18, 2020. Each night will feature different films. A few of the best local films will be shown at the January 2021 Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour. Tune in to the live program to vote for your favorite film, or register to receive a link to watch the on-demand program later. In addition to pay-what you-can tickets, you can pre-order a delicious meal featuring local, organic food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen. Register at eventbrite.com. If you are interested in sponsorship, visit cechouston.org.


Support the environment through workplace giving

If you work for employers such as the City of Houston, the State of Texas, or HISD, among many other public and private workplaces, remember that the fall is campaign season for most employee workplace giving programs. Employees are offered the chance to select from many charitable organizations to support through payroll contributions. You can give to CEC via EarthShare of Texas, as one of 60 local, regional and national environmental organizations supported by EarthShare of Texas. You can designate individual organizations or let EarthShare of Texas divide it equally among their participating organizations. A complete list of participating workplaces is available at www.earthshare-texas.org. For more information about EarthShare of Texas, including information about how your organization can offer workplace giving, please visit www.earthshare-texas.org or call 800-GREENTX. Look for the the CEC’s code number under the EarthShare of Texas heading in workplace giving campaign literature at all state agencies (035569), at HISD (0111) and at the City of Houston (1413). Please consider CEC in your workplace giving program!


Be CEC’s Neighbor at MECA

CEC’s office is at MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling for the Arts) in the historic Dow School in the Old Sixth Ward off of Memorial Drive just outside of downtown. Studios (aka classrooms) are available, including one right next to CEC! (We might even share our conference room.) Learn more at meca-houston.org or email [email protected] to get the scoop.


COALITION & COMMUNITY NOTES

We have endeavored to confirm the opportunities listed below. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts, particularly in light of concerns about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Continue reading