Houston Environmental News Update April 14, 2015

Thank you to everyone who came out and visited us at our booth at Earth Day Houston at Discovery Green on Saturday. We had a fabulous time meeting friends old and new. Kudos to Air Alliance Houston for another great event.

This week, CEC will be the featured charity at the Houston Philanthropic Society networking event on Thursday evening, April 16, 2015, at the Houston City Club. Please consider joining us! 
Houston Philanthropic Society (HPS) is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on connecting community charities and donors to promote philanthropy in Houston. Our Members include local philanthropists, non-profit leaders, social entrepreneurs, community volunteers, corporate philanthropy professionals, industry service providers and an array of others who provide support to local charities. We are delighted to be a part of the Society and we encourage you to become involved.

CEC NOTES

  1. Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour: Film Selection Committee. The CEC is pleased to announce that it has been selected to host the WSFF On Tour in Houston again in January 2016, and we have received our first grant, from Patagonia, in support of this program. We are seeking volunteers to help–over the next two months–choose the films that we will show at the festival. If you are interested, please contact rachel@cechouston.org.
  2. H-E-B Tear Pad Campaign. HEB logoH-E-B supports many EarthShare of Texas organizations with corporate grants or in-kind contributions, including the CEC with support of our Environmental Resource Guide and the Greater Houston Environmental Summit. 2015 Tear Pad photo2The April tear-pad promotion is a bit different as it enables H-E-B customers to bolster the diverse environmental program work of more than three dozen EarthShare of Texas’ member organizations, including CEC! The customers’ dollars will go directly to CEC and the other EarthShare of Texas member organizations, benefiting both the Texas environment and economy. Throughout the month of April and into the first week of May, look for the EarthShare of Texas display and tear-off coupons at the check-out stands in any Texas H-E-B and Central Market stores. Support EarthShare of Texas and the Texas environment!
  3. New Subscribers. Thank you Richard, Bobby, Elizabeth, Xavier, Jamal, Shen, Allyn, Martha, Curtis, Lee, Rob, Maria, Chris, Sequoia, Henry, Neda, Lisa, Christina, Denise, Sara, Michelle, and Matthew (and a few folks who didn’t share their name), our newest subscribers. We hope you enjoy our emails!

COALITION NOTES

  1. KPC Strategic Planning Process. Katy Prairie Conservancy is is in the middle of a Strategic Planning process to help better understand the needs and perceptions of the community so they can better serve it. You can participate by taking a public opinion survey at www.surveymonkey.com.
  2. Garden Haikus Earth Day Contest. Celebrate National Gardening Month, National Poetry Month AND Earth Day this April by taking part in the fourth-annual Recipe for Success Foundation Garden Haikus for Earth Day Contest. Students and adults are invited to enter the citywide contest online. Submit your poem in the traditional haiku format to reflect spring garden themes or the fun of growing and eating healthy food. Winners will be selected from three categories: Seeds (Age 5 to 11), Sprouts (Age 12 to 17), Blooms (Age 18+). Multiple submissions welcome. Entry deadline is April 30, 2015. Learn more at  www.recipe4success.org.
  3. TWRC Wildlife Center Guest Speaker Series: Christine Mansfield. The TWRC will be holding a guest speaker presentation on April 16, 2015, 7-8pm, with Christine Mansfield of Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC). Christine works with the conservation and education departments of KPC to increase general awareness of prairies and encourage public involvement. She also works to maintain KPC’s web and social media presence. She will be speaking about the Great Grow Out, which is a program that allows volunteers to grow plants in the comfort of their own home, and then return the seedlings to KPC for restoration projects! The cost is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Please RSVP by contacting: education@twrcwildlifecenter.org or 713.468.TWRC (8972). More at www.twrcwildlifecenter.org.
  4. KPB: Earth Day Celebration. Celebrate Earth Day on April 18, 2015, at The Pearland Recreation Center from 10am-2pm. The Earth Day Celebration is a collaboration between Keep Pearland Beautiful (KPB) and the City of Pearland (COP). The event will provide attendees of all ages a fun experience while exposing them to ways to connect with our earth and take care of it in an environmentally responsible way. Vendors have been invited to set up interactive activities and booths. Additional games, inflatables and activities have been planned by the Earth Day Committee some of these will be staffed by KIPPERs (Middle School Aged Children) from Pearland Schools. Educational lectures and hands on activities will take place at the Celebration as well. Learn more at http://keeppearlandbeautiful.org.
  5. Houston Green Film Series: Earth Days. The Houston Green Film Series continues on April 15, 2015, at the Rice Media Center. The film, “Earth Days,” is a documentary about the environmental movement. Doors open at 6:30pm for conversation, networking, and a light meal. The screening starts at 7:00pm. Beverages Sponsored by Saint Arnold Brewing Company and Messina Hof. Learn more at http://allevents.in.
  6. Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award. Nominations are now being accepted for the Terry Hershey Bayou Stewardship Award. This award recognizes an individual or organization who demonstrate an exemplary commitment to, and stewardship of, a Houston-area bayou through conservation, preservation, restoration, advocacy, or other proactive means. The deadline for nominations is due by April 15, 2015, by email to bpa@hic.net or by fax to 713-529-6481. Find the nomination form at www.bayoupreservation.org.
  7. Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter Meeting: Milkweeds. The next NPSOT meeting will be held on April 16, 2015, at 7pm at the Houston Aboretum & Nature Center. Malcolm and Gail Vidrine will give a presentation on Milkweeds. Learn more at http://npsot.org.
  8. Wildlife Speaker: Peter Blinston, African Painted Dog Researcher. African Painted Dog researcher Peter Blinston fell in love with these unique dogs while watching documentaries growing up in his native England. He has been working to protect painted dogs for twelve years now and serves as Managing Director for Painted Dog Conservation. Come hear him speak on April 17, 2015, 6:30-8pm at the Brown Education Center at the Houston Zoo. The cost is $30 for members and $35 for non-members. More at www.houstonzoo.org.
  9. FARMacy Houston Workshop at the Farm & a Travelling Speakeasy. A food-as-medicine day for learning and growing in support of FARM Houston, an urban farming educational initiative. This farm-to-table interactive workshop will take place on April 19, 2015, from 12-4pm at Emile Street Community Farm at 711 N. Emile Street. “FARMacy” will focus on reconnecting to sustainable family farms and renewing a commitment to real food. The hands-on educational opportunity will include lectures from Houston’s top wellness experts and local food producers. This food-as-medicine focused event promotes a return to wellness as individuals and as a culture and will explain the importance on taking a stand against industrialized farming and processed foods while teaching individuals how to develop their own medicine cabinet with therapeutic foods. FARMacy, a vision of Ali Miller integrative dietitian and owner of Naturally Nourished, features some of Houston’s top wellness and locavore experts! Learn more and register at http://naturallynourishedrd.com.
  10. Brays Bayou Association Meeting. The next Brays Bayou Association Meeting will be held on April 20, 2015, at 7:30pm at The Gathering Place. Roksan Okan-Vick, Executive Director of the Houston Parks Board, will discuss Phase II (my words) of the Bayou Greenway Initiative 2020. She will address the interconnection of the trail systems along the major bayou systems to produce a “green network” across the City and County, whereby hikers and bikers can travel with minimum conflict with surface traffic. Brays Bayou Association Meetings occur regularly on the third Monday of the month. Brays Bayou Association Meetings Third Monday of the month-2015 meeting schedule
  11. Education Seminar: Tiny Houses in Houston. Want a tiny house that’s off the grid? What’s out there? Can you make them mobile and then attach them permanently to your lot? Come out for a special seminar on April 22, 2015, 6-8pm at the Green Building Resource Center. There will be an Earth Day show and tell with two ACTUAL tiny houses to tour right outside the GBRC after the talk! Two local builders, Shannon and David will talk about what they do; Donna will talk about some of the small houses she features in her book; Teresa, an appraiser, will talk about how the appraisal industry looks at green building and tiny houses; and Sheila Blake will talk about tiny houses and the building code. AIA & USGBC CEU’s available. This is a free event. RSVP by calling 832-394-9050. Learn more at www.codegreenhouston.org.
  12. Wetland Economic Benefits Workshop. Texas Coastal Watershed Program is hosting a Wetland Economic Benefits Workshop on April 23, 2015, 9am-3pm at the United Way Community Resource Center. This is a free workshop for professionals who commonly work with Upper Texas Gulf Coast landowners: realtors, natural resource professionals, environmental service providers, etc. The workshop highlights incentive programs available to private landowners for conserving, restoring, or creating wetlands. Regional experts will speak on emerging ecosystem services markets, wetland ecosystem services, wetland mitigation, nature tourism, wildlife management, conservation easements, and forested wetlands. TCWP will demonstrate its new clearinghouse website of programs which provide economic benefit to landowners for wetland conservation. Lunch will be provided to workshop participants. View the flyer and register at www.eventbrite.com.
  13. BLC’s Annual Gala: Blazing Trails. Join Bayou Land Conservancy for the first time at beautiful Ashton Gardens! Celebrate BLC becoming the largest regional conservation easement holder in Texas (almost 12,000 acres!). Celebrate a number of our key volunteers in the field, as well as “sparkplug” science teachers who bring their students to our award- winning watershed education field trips. The highlight will be a professional video of this year’s theme: “Blazing Trails” – an overview of the most recently completed land protection projects. The gala will be held on April 23, 2015, at 7pm. Learn more at http://bayoulandconservancy.blogspot.com.
  14. Earth Day Art Contest Awards Show & Auction. Come out to Skyline Art Services on April 23, 2015, 6-9pm for the Earth Day Art Contest Awards Show & Auction benefiting local schools and Air Alliance Houston educational programs. Check out the auction at http://earthday15.auction-bid.org.
  15. Pasadena Rain Barrel Workshop. Registration is now open for GBF’s next Rain Barrel workshop on April 25, 2015. This workshop, in partnership with the City of Pasadena, will feature a Buy-1-Get-1-Free program for Pasadena residents! The workshop will also be presented in both English and Spanish, slideshow text included. For more information, and to pre-register, visit www.galvbay.org/rainbarrel! For further questions, contact Neally Rhea at 281-332-3381 x220, or email nrhea@galvbay.org.
  16. 2015 Bayou Bash. Bayou Buddies of Buffalo Bayou Partnership will be hosting their biggest and greenest fundraiser of the year featuring crawfish and libations, live entertainment, silent auction, lawn games, kayak demos and pontoon boat rides. The bash will be held on April 25, 2015, 1-4pm at the Sabine Promenade. Presale tickets are NOW on sale! $25 for Bayou Buddies members (with discount code); and $30 for General Admission (prices go up $10 at the door!). More at http://buffalobayou.org.
  17. Willow Waterhole Music in the Park. Come out to South Gazebo at Willow Waterhole Conservation Reserve on April 25, 2015, 11am-10pm for Music in the Park! This craft and music festival will feature 40 craft vendors and 11 hours of free music! Stop by one of the many local food trucks to fill your appetite (food and drinks available for purchase). Bring your favorite lawn chair and blankets and enjoy the day! Learn more at www.willowwaterhole.org or www.facebook.com.
  18. Earth Day Celebration at Exploration Green. Bay Area’s new Exploration Green will host its inaugural Earth Day Celebration at the 200-acre green space in the heart of Clear Lake on April 25, 2015, 8am-2pm. Free and open to all, festivities will include traditional outdoor games, running and walking, education and environmental activities and volunteer opportunities for visitors all ages. Created and staffed by a volunteer corps of a variety of organizations, including Space Volunteers from Boeing and other space organizations, Assisteens, Texas Coastal Watershed Program and Exploration Green Conservancy, activities include: 5K Fun Trail Run, Geocaching, ExGames, Cyclo-Cross Exhibition, and may opportunities to volunteer! Learn more at www.explorationgreen.org.
  19. 2015 Anything That Floats Competition. The fifth annual Anything That Floats competition will be held in Downtown Houston at Sesquicentennial Park on Buffalo Bayou on April 25, 2015, from 8am-1pm. The competition is organized by rdAGENTS, the Rice Design Alliance young professionals group. Teams of two to five people — you don’t have to be an architect or a designer! — are invited to enter. Teams will use their own tools and spend the morning constructing their craft out of discarded and donated building materials that are provided by rdAGENTS. Then, two members of each team must then test the seaworthiness of their creation in a race for time across Buffalo Bayou. To compete, registration is $25 for RDA members and $35 for non-members. Registration fees include breakfast, lunch, and light refreshments throughout the day. Attending the race is free and open to the public. More at www.ricedesignalliance.org.
  20. Garden Haikus Earth Day Contest. Celebrate National Gardening Month, National Poetry Month AND Earth Day this April by taking part in the fourth-annual Recipe for Success Foundation Garden Haikus for Earth Day Contest. Students and adults are invited to enter the citywide contest online. Submit your poem in the traditional haiku format to reflect spring garden themes or the fun of growing and eating healthy food. Winners will be selected from three categories: Seeds (Age 5 to 11), Sprouts (Age 12 to 17), Blooms (Age 18+). Multiple submissions welcome. Entry deadline is April 30, 2015. Learn more at www.recipe4success.org.
  21. 2015 Prairie Conservation Assessment. Coastal Prairie Partnership, in association with its conservation partners, will be conducting a listening tour this spring to assess the collaborative needs of prairie community. There will be five meetings this spring to assess collaborative opportunities to protect, restore, and raise awareness of coastal prairies in the 13-county Greater Houston Region. Full details including the meeting schedule can be found at prairiepartner.org. The final event is May 5, with a report expected on July 31, 2015.
  22. Bay Day – Organization Sign Up. The Galveston Bay Foundation is seeking some additional environmental organizations to host booths at the Bay Day event on May 23, 2015, from 11am-4pm at the Kemah Boardwalk. Bay Day is a one-day celebration presented by the Galveston Bay Foundation and numerous community partners. It is a fun event for families and adults that annually draws more than 5,000 attendees to experience and learn more about Galveston Bay, the largest bay in Texas and one of the most productive estuaries in the country! This event is free to the public and is family-friendly. Booth space is free for non-profits and government groups, and for sponsors. It includes a 10×10 tent, table, and two chairs. Space is limited, so sign up today! Any groups interested in participating should read and fill out the exhibitor application (BayDay_Exhibitor_Application_2015), and submit the document no later than May 8th. For more information, please contact Emily Ford at eford@galvbay.org.
  23. ABNC Preserve Watch 2015: Rookery Tour and Gator Night. The Armand Bayou Nature Center is hosting Preserve Watch 2015 with Stewardship Coordinator Mark Kramer. This is a special program showcases the unique beauty and fragile ecology of the urban wilderness that is Armand Bayou Nature Center through lectures and field trips. These behind the scenes adventures will deepen your appreciation for the richness of life that exists right here in your own backyard. Panoramic viewscapes, iconic apex predators and a spectacular assembly of nesting birds highlight the adventures. Each of these experiences will begin with an introduction and lecture in the auditorium and concludes with a field trip. Most activities last approximately 2-3 hours. There are two upcoming events in early May. The Rookery Tour will be held on May 9, 2015, 9am-noon, and costs $30. Come observe the colonial nesting water birds at the ABNC Rookery Tour. Later on May 9th, come out for ABNC Gator Night from 7-9:30pm to get a hands-on look at some of last year’s hatchling gators, discuss the unique reptilian relationship between hatchling and mother alligators, and explore the bayou where participants will get to view these animals in their natural habitat onboard the Bayou Ranger pontoon boat. This event costs $40 per person. Reservations are required as places are limited. Participants must be at least 18 years of age. Please call 281-474-2551×10 to reserve your spot! Learn more about these events at www.abnc.org.

COMMUNITY NOTES

  1. Aviation Conservation Grant Proposals. Have a great potential avian habitat conservation project to fund? Funds raised through the Great Texas Birding Classic fund projects throughout the state each year, with over $800,000 in grants given to date! Submit your project proposal form by May 1st
    for consideration by winning teams. Visit Conservation Grants for project criteria and proposal forms. The deadline for proposals is May 1, 2015. Contact Shelly Plante, with questions by phone (512-389-4500) or email (shelly.plante@tpwd.texas.gov).
  2. Salt Marsh Ecology – Volunteer Opportunity. Help scientists better understand the ecology of the salt marsh. Researchers at the University of Houston have over 50,000 overlapping photographs of a salt marsh, taken every year starting in 2010, and need to align them to create detailed maps for each year. Because the images are taken from close to the marsh surface, and lack strong visual features, software programs are unable to align them automatically. The “Image Matching Game” (http://129.7.249.177:85/ index/signin or ScalingUpMarshScience.cs.uh. edu) allows citizen scientists like you to help by identifying matching features in pairs of photographs. This information will then be used to create a photographic map of a large area, and to study how this area changes from year to year. At the same time, you’ll learn some basic facts about salt marsh ecology. Please pass this on to your friends and to educators who might want to use it in their classes. Contact Steven Pennings, University of Houston at spennings@uh.edu with any questions.
  3. My Water Pledge. My Water Pledge is a friendly competition between cities across the US to see who can be the most “water-wise.” Mayors nationwide will challenge their residents to conserve water energy and other natural resources on behalf of their city through a series of informative, easy-to-use pledges online. Cities with the highest percentage of residents who take the challenge in their population category win. Cities will compete in the following population categories: 5,000-29,999, 30,000-99,999, 100,000-299,999. 300,000-599,999, 600,000+). Participants in the winning cities are eligible to win hundreds of prizes. By the way, your mayor doesn’t have to participate for your city to win… But every person makes a difference! Last year, the challenge awarded more than $50,000 in prizes to nearly 1,000 residents in U.S. cities. Take the pledge! http://bit.ly/OpbCL0
  4. Input for Plan Houston. One million more residents are expected to move to Houston in the next 20 years. To prepare for this momentous growth, the City is creating a General Plan called Plan Houston. The Plan will address neighborhood enhancement and community development over the coming years, helping agencies better coordinate their efforts to make positive change throughout the city. The City wants your input. What makes Houston a great place to live? How can we ensure Houston’s future as a vibrant and growing city? Please visit ByYouCity.org and share YOUR vision of Houston’s future.
  5. 21st Annual Migration Celebration. Migration Celebration will be held April 18-19, 2015, by the Friends of the Brazoria Wildlife Refuges in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Texas Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Migration Celebration activities are centered on the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge but formally starts with a fundraising dinner and featured speaker at RiverPlace in the Freeport Municipal Park. Migration Celebration started as a birding festival with paid events and speakers. However, it has changed over time to a family nature festival. Events and presentations are now designed for more introductory level but still keeps a focus on birds with the Bird Banding, Birds of Prey programs, Rocket Netting and Nature Walks at Bobcat Woods and the San Bernard Oak Trail. With the exception of fundraising activities, all other Migration Celebration events, tours, presentations, and other activities are free to the public. This is made possible by the generous donations of time and money by our sponsors, partner organizations and volunteers. Learn more at http://migrationcelebration.org.
  6. Going Coastal: Exploring the UH Coastal Center. Come out to the “Going Coastal” event on April 25, 2015, 10:30am-3pm at the UH Coastal Center. Visitors will get first-hand exposure to projects taking place at the center. Experience the wealth of environmental, plant life, air quality, coastal ecology, and geophysical research going on at UH’s largest outdoor learning laboratory! Scientists and UH students doing research at the Center will give demonstrations and discuss latest findings at their field sites. Tour stops include research wells, GPS units measuring subsidence, towers measuring air quality, insect nets and grasshoppers, prairie plants and preservation, and a look at architectural visions for future buildings at the UHCC. For more information about the event, visit http://giving.uh.edu or contact Hillary Norwood at 713-743-2611 or nsmrsvp@nsm.uh.edu. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 4-10 (Includes Lunch and Tours).
  7. The Montrose Bi-Annual Recycling Event. Come bring your recycling to the H-E-B at 1701 W. Alabama on April 25, 2015, from 10am-2pm. Help keep Montrose clean and green! Find the list of accepted items at http://montrosedistrict.org.
  8. The Value of Clean Air. How can society make informed choices about activities that cause emissions that simultaneously lead to climate change and poor air quality? In the third talk in the Center for Energy Studies‘ series on public policy and climate change, Drew Shindell will explore the use of a multi-impact valuation framework that extends the social cost of carbon used previously for carbon dioxide (CO2) to a broader range of pollutants and impacts. The results suggest that: 1) efforts to mitigate atmosphere-related environmental damages should target a broad set of emissions, including CO2, methane and aerosol/ozone precursors; 2) total atmosphere-related environmental damages plus generation costs are much greater for coal-fired power than other types of electricity generation; and 3) damages associated with gasoline vehicles substantially exceed those for electric vehicles. The relative importance of uncertainties in climate science, concentration-response relationships and economic projections will also be explored as they relate to the path forward to providing improved policy-relevant science. The lecture will take place on May 8, 2015, 12-1:30pm at James A. Baker III Hall, Rice University. http://bakerinstitute.org
  9. Cigna Sunday Streets – Heights – with Kidical Mass! Cigna Sunday Streets Houston is an initiative to promote and improve the health of Houstonians. Cigna Sunday Streets Houston opens a stretch of streets normally reserved for cars and other vehicles to allow cycling, walking, dancing, socializing and provides a family-friendly opportunity to be physically active. The next event will be held on April 26, 2015, 12-4pm on Navigation from Jensen to Lockwood. Learn more at www.houstontx.gov.
  10. 10th State of the Bay Symposium – Call for Presenters. The Galveston Bay Estuary Program is pleased to announce that the 10th State of the Bay Symposium will be held January 13-14, 2016 at the Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center in Galveston, Texas. The theme of this symposium is “20 Years of Successfully Preserving Galveston Bay.” Through science, collaborative partnerships, public education, and hard work, the Galveston Bay Estuary Program and partners have made great progress in protecting the bay’s ecological and economic health—as well as the public health. The Estuary Program welcomes abstracts for oral and poster presentations and panel sessions that address coastal and estuarine restoration and management, in all habitats, at all scales in all regions of Galveston Bay. Abstracts must be received in electronic format at the Estuary Program no later than May 15, 2015 via e-mail (gbep@tceq.texas.gov). Learn more: 10th State of the Bay Symposium Call for Presentations.
  11. Fishing for Energy 2015 – Request for Proposals. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is pleased to announce on behalf of Fishing for Energy partners Covanta, Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc., and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, the availability of a request for proposals to support outreach and prevention strategies to reduce the impacts of derelict fishing gear to marine and coastal environments… The Fishing for Energy (FfE) partners recognize that while derelict gear removal and disposal is a critical effort to reduce the threat of entanglement, entrapment and habitat scarring from marine debris, the real conservation gains are to be made in prevention of the threat, which is the focus of this Request for Proposals. Read more about the proposal at www.nfwf.org. The deadline is April 23, 2015.
  12. Kinder Institute Luncheon 2015.  The Kinder Institute Luncheon 2015 will be held on April 30, 2015, at 11:30am at the Hilton Americas – Houston. The luncheon will feature keynote speaker, Dr. Stephen Klineberg, and the official release of the 34th annual Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey. Register online at http://kinder.rice.edu.
  13. Harris County Precinct 4 GeoChallenge. The Precinct 4 GeoChallenge is a precinct-wide geocaching event sponsored by Harris County Precinct 4. Participants will be introduced to the trending pastime of geocaching while experiencing the abundance of amenities Precinct 4 has to offer. The GeoChallenge contains a series of 57 geocaches, all of which are easy to find. However, attainment of certain geocaches may require elevated physical activity. Learn more and find out how to get started at www.hcp4.net.
  14. Community Solutions 2015 Host Applications. Does your organization value increasing cultural diversity in the workplace or forging international partnerships with like-minded individuals and institutions? Are you interested in having an experienced community development professional join your organization for four months at no cost? Does your team need a highly skilled expert to take on an upcoming project? Whatever the case may be, hosting a 2015 Community Solutions Program (CSP) Leader is an opportunity you won’t want to pass up. The Community Solutions Program is a leadership development program for mid-career professionals working in community development from over 60 countries worldwide. CSP Leaders spend four-months in the U.S. working with selected host organizations while focusing on one of the following four areas: environmental issues, tolerance & conflict resolution, transparency & accountability, and women & gender issues. Interested organizations should fill out the Host Interest Form by May 15, 2015. Learn more at www.irex.org.
  15. Addressing Conflict with Deer in Our Communities – An Interactive and Engaging Workshop. White-tailed deer are a valuable natural resource enjoyed by many across Texas. However, when deer numbers escalate and they become overabundant, deer can threaten wildlife and plant diversity and cause emotionally charged conflict within communities. There are very real economic, cultural, health, and ecological concerns. Texas communities regularly confront these issues. Come out to Texas State University on May 29, 2015, for a workshop that addresses these topics. This workshop will allow attendees to learn from the experiences of others and hear from nationally recognized experts currently working with overabundant deer issues. The cost is $55, which includes lunch. Register at www.texas-wildlife.org.
  16. Teacher Trainings: Down Under Out Yonder (DUOY) and Intracoastal Waterway Wetlands Expedition (IWWE). A DUOY coral reef ecology underwater workshop for educators will be held from July 11-15, 2015. This 5-day expedition includes a 2-day Corals to Classrooms workshop followed by three days of diving the coral reefs of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, which harbors the northernmost coral reefs in the continental US, providing habitat for a variety of fish, turtles, and sharks. Participants return to their classrooms filled with innovative ideas for teaching biology, oceanography, geology, physical science, government, and environmental science. Another workshop, IWWE, a coastal habitat ecology workshop for educators, will be held from June 15-19, 2015. Cruise the estuaries of coastal Texas from the Louisiana border to Freeport by way of the Intracoastal Waterway during this five-day expedition. Along the way, participants explore diverse habitats as they learn about the natural and human threats to our living coast. Educators of all levels walk away from this experience with new knowledge and skills for educating students about coastal ecology (and economy). For more information, call 361-882-3939 or email info@gulfmex.org. DUOY-IWWE
  17. Additional Community Announcements

  18. TV: Texas Parks & Wildlife. Broadcast on KUHT Channel 8 at 3:00 PM each Saturday and on municipal access cable channels in Baytown, Deer Park, Houston, 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.
    • The Dove Hunter
    • Wild Game Cooking: Buffalo Dove Breasts
    • Big Bend Plants
    • The Spirit Rises – Palo Duro Canyon State Park
  19. Air Quality Forecast. http://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/forecast_today.html. Houston Clean Air Network and Realtime Ozone Mapping: http://houstoncleanairnetwork.com.
    • April 14, 2015: Green–Good. Moderate winds and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range statewide.
    • April 15, 2015: Green–Good. Moderate winds and lower incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.
    • April 16, 2015: Green–Good. Moderate winds and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.
    • April 17, 2015: Green–Good. Moderate winds and lower incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.

Back to top

 

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: April 13, 2015

Featured

  1. First ‘Bayou Greenway Day’ highlights Houston’s waterways (Katherine Driessen – Houston Chronicle, 4/4/2015)
    “For the Houston Parks Board and city officials, the first-ever Bayou Greenway Day offered a glimpse of the 150-mile network of bike and cycling paths they hope will weave through Houston’s nine bayous by 2020. Voters approved a bond package in 2012 that will provide $100 million in matching funds to double trail connections along the city’s bayous, with the nonprofit Houston Parks Board raising the rest of the $215 million through private fundraising. So far, parks board officials say they’ve raised about $80 million in private funds, including a significant $50 million pledge from Rich and Nancy Kinder‘s family foundation. Officials say the emphasis is on showcasing the bayous and providing better access, creating a necklace of trails that twists through the city with the waterways as the crown jewels.”
    http://m.chron.com
  2. The Woodlands’ water program named top in Texas (WATR News, 4/5/2015)
    “The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency (WJPA) earned the 2015 Texas Municipal Blue Legacy Award for its work in water conservation. The award, presented by the Texas Water Conservation Advisory Council (TWCAC), recognizes water suppliers that have demonstrated “outstanding and innovative commitment to the state’s mission of promoting responsible conservation and management of water resources,” said James M. Stinson, WJPA general manager… Facing continued residential, and commercial growth along with a reduction in groundwater supplies, the WJPA realized a comprehensive water awareness, and conservation program was imperative to help offset rising demands.”
    http://watrnews.com
  3. Researchers, Water Providers Launch Conservation Effort (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune, 4/9/2015)
    “With a third of Texans still facing drought conditions, a coalition of Texas universities and water providers has launched an $8 million effort to curb water use in cities. The University Municipal Water Consortium – a team of more than 25 local, state and regional water providers and researchers from Texas A&M University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas at San Antonio – seeks to develop new ways to conserve water and chart use in hundreds of homes across the state… Urban water use in Texas is growing nine times faster than all other uses combined, according to the Texas Water Development Board. That’s what triggered the consortium’s focus on cities.”
    www.texastribune.org

EcoNotes

  • 13 April
    • Five things you need to know in Texas energy this week (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 10 April
    • How Corporations and Law Enforcement Are Spying on Environmentalists (Adam Federman – Truthout)
      www.truth-out.org
    • US carbon pollution set for 2015 drop as coal plants close (RTCC News)
      www.rtcc.org
    • Acidic oceans implicated in Earth’s worst mass extinction (Will Dunham – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Climate change seen bringing more fires, less snow to Yellowstone (Laura Zuckerman – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 9 April
    • Researchers, Water Providers Launch Conservation Effort (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Study: Radon increased along with ramp-up in fracking (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – San Antonio Express News)
      www.expressnews.com
    • Wastewater-raised algae potentially broaden environmental advantages scope (FIS News)
      www.fis.com
    • Gas-Happy Texas Goes Solar (Daniel Cusick and ClimateWire – Scientific American)
      www.scientificamerican.com
    • Colorful Blooms Decorate Texas State Parks (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
    • San Jacinto Day Festival, Battle Re-enactment Set for April 18 (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
    • EPA seeks to ban fracking wastewater from going to public treatment plants (Laura Legere – Eagle Ford Texas)
      http://eaglefordtexas.com
    • Spotted owl could be designated ‘endangered’ (Courtney Sherwood – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 8 April
  • 7 April
    • The Lite Guv and the Frack Master (Steven Bodzin – Texas Observer)
      www.texasobserver.org
    • Texas City Opts For 100% Renewable Energy–to Save Cash, Not the Planet (Tom Dart – Climate Desk)
      http://climatedesk.org
    • Proposed Law Would Allow Houston To Regulate Mountains Of Coal (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Texas in sync with rest of nation on climate issues, Yale study finds (Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
    • Legislation Aims to Prevent Another Fertilizer Plant Blast (Eva Hershaw – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • ‘Green’ political donor vows climate agenda push in 2016 U.S. race (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • NOAA Fisheries Announces New Recreational Fishing Regulations for Red Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico (Oyster Radio)
      http://oysterradio.blogspot.com
  • 6 April
    • Texas is recovering from the drought, but lakes are still suffering (Chris Eudaily – My SA News)
      www.mysanantonio.com
    • Five things you need to know in Texas energy this week (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Texas renewable energy requirement in cross hairs at Capitol (Asher Price – Austin American-Statesman)
      www.mystatesman.com
  • 5 April
  • 4 April
    • First ‘Bayou Greenway Day’ highlights Houston’s waterways (Katherine Driessen – Houston Chronicle)
      http://m.chron.com
    • Rattlers are natural part of Texas spring (Shannon Tompkins – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Bayou Greenway Day Shines Light on Houston’s Bayou System (Elissa Rivas – ABC 13 News)
      http://abc13.com
  • 3 April
    • Water woes follow increased population projections in Houston suburbs (Cindy Horswell – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Memorial Park plans for the future (Andrea Watkins – My Fox Houston)
      www.myfoxhouston.com
  • 2 April
    • Water Ruling Cuts State’s Power in Droughts (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 1 April
    • Memorial Park’s multimillion-dollar makeover approved ( Joe Martin and Olivia Pulsinelli – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 31 March
  • 30 March
    • Houston energy company weighs restructuring with “severe” money woes (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 26 March
    • Texas Counties, Metros Among Fastest-Growing in U.S. (Alexa Ura – Trib+Water)
      www.texastribune.org