Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour January 29, 2015

WSFF LogoJoin the CEC on January 29, 2015, at the River Oaks Theatre as it hosts the first Houston screening of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour! Wild & Scenic On Tour partners with environmental groups, college and university groups, nature centers, and museums across the country to host the festival as a way to outreach into their communities and bring together an audience of diverse affiliations. On Tour hosts bring the issues featured in these films to the local level to show how global issues affect everyone.The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is the largest film festival of its kind in the United States and serves as a national platform for local environmental advocacy.

Great gift idea!!! Order tickets via Eventbrite:
http://wild-scenic-cechouston.eventbrite.com/?aff=efbevent

Thank you to our local sponsors Ruggles Green, Hydroshack Hydroponics, and Environment Associates.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Learn more.

Houston Environmental News Update December 16, 2014

CEC NOTES

  1. Please join us to jingle and mingle at our open house this afternoon from 4-8 at our offices at 751 Silver Street. It’s last minute and the invites aren’t the greatest, but we’d still love to see you! Call if you have questions or can’t find us. 713-524-4232.
  2. Welcome new subscribers

    Thank you to our new subscribers: Emily, Amanda, Caleb, Sarah, Candace, Justin, Nicholas, Anna, and Nathan. We’re glad you joined our community. (And thanks for the TCE folks who signed up: you have the BEST handwriting!)

  3.  Wild & Scenic Film Festival January 29, 2015Join the CEC on January 29, 2015, at the River Oaks Theatre as it hosts the first Texas screening of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour! Wild & Scenic On Tour partners with environmental groups, college and university groups, nature centers, and museums across the country to host the festival as a way to outreach into their communities and bring together an audience of diverse affiliations. On Tour hosts bring the issues featured in these films to the local level to show how global issues affect everyone.The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is the largest film festival of its kind in the United States and serves as a national platform for local environmental advocacy.Great gift idea!!! Order tickets via Eventbrite:
    http://wild-scenic-cechouston.eventbrite.com/?aff=efbevent
  4. Save the DatesIn addition to the film festival, the CEC has some great events planned for next year, and we hope you can join us. More details are coming soon, but for now, please save the dates!
    • March 3, 2015: CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit
    • April 1, 2015: Environmental Poetry and Puns
  5. Holiday Newsletter Schedule
    The CEC office will be mostly closed December 22 to January 2. We’ll be enjoying the company of friends and family while participating in Christmas Bird Counts and First Day Hikes, among other things. We will send abbreviated newsletters while we are gone. If you want your event included in the newsletter before the end of the year, please be sure to send your information to news@cechouston.org by December 17, 2014. Regular newsletters will resume on January 6, 2015.

COALITION NOTES

  1. Texas Christmas Bird Counts. The 115th annual Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for December 14, 2014 to January 5, 2015. Organized by the National Audubon Society, this all-volunteer effort takes a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere. The results are compiled into a database that is shared with federal, state, and private authorities. Counts are open to birders of all skill levels. Novices are placed in groups with more experienced birders. New to CBCs? Join Houston Audubon in the fun! Discover new areas to bird which may not be normally accessible and take advantage of this great opportunity to bird with some of our foremost birding experts. Be part of a long-standing holiday program that ultimately helps protect our extraordinary birds! There is NO FEE to participate in Christmas Bird Counts! The annual CBC report will be an online publication and National Audubon will rely on donations for funding. Read more and find an event near you: www.houstonaudubon.org.
  2. Education Seminar: Reading Towards Sustainability. Green Building Resource Center Program Director, Steve Stelzer, will give a presentation regarding sustainability and books! These books range from best sellers to a few you might not have heard about, based upon his 2003 “The Blind Men and the Elephant” book list. Learn what to read to explore subjects in depths that are either abbreviated or getting no coverage in the mainstream media; a way to keep up with current thought leaders; and further insight into the whys of green building and behavior. This presentation will be held on December 17, 2014, 6-8pm at the City of Houston Permitting Center (1002 Washington Ave). Please RSVP to usgbctexasgulfcoast.org or phone 832-394-9050. Read more at www.greenhoustontx.gov.
  3. Greater West Houston Mobility Plan Public Meeting. H-GAC, in partnership with the City of Houston, the West Houston Association, the Westchase District, the Energy Corridor, the Texas Department of Transportation and others, is conducting a study to develop long range mobility and land use strategies for the greater West Houston area. The final public meeting for the West Houston Mobility Plan has been rescheduled to December 18, 2014, from 6-8pm at Wolfe Elementary School, to present findings on existing conditions, future population and employment growth scenarios, and potential infrastructure and policy strategies. Area residents, business owners, community members and local officials are invited to attend a public meeting to provide comments. More at http://mywesthouston.com.
  4. Create Houston: A Big Community Service Project. Big Yoga Houston will partner up with Buffalo Bayou Partnership for a big community service project to beautify and restore the Buffalo Bayou Park. This event will be held on December 20, 2014, from 8:45-11am. Learn more at www.facebook.com.
  5. Sheldon Lake State Park – Mobile Game. Visitors at Sheldon Lake State Park can now learn about the parks natural environment in a new way. A new phone app invites users to become “secret agents of nature” and to complete educational challenges to advance in the game. Students learn about the plants, animals, and other features of the park. Learn more at http://tpwd.texas.gov.
  6. 2014 Folks ‘N Oysters. It’s time to celebrate Galveston Bay and support Galveston Baykeeper! Folks ‘n Oysters is a fundraiser and “friend”raiser – so bring a friend and come shuck with the folks working hard to improve water quality. This great event will be held on December 30, 2014, 4-8pm. There will be live music by Cowbellionation, a swamp boogie band, and local oysters provided by Hillman’s Seafood. The cost is $35 per person and $50 per couple in advance. At the door, prices increase to $45 per person and $75 per couple. Your purchase includes 2015 Galveston Baykeeper membership. Celebrate and learn more about Galveston Bay with great people, food, and music! Purchase tickets at www.galvestonbaykeeper.org.
  7. GBF’s Cease the Grease Holiday Campaign. Did you know that you can help protect Galveston Bay by properly disposing of fats, oils, and grease (FOGs) in your kitchen? When poured down the sink, FOGs lead to sewer system blockages. These blockages cause the sewers to overflow, releasing untreated sewage into the environment, polluting Galveston Bay. Galveston Bay Foundation’s Cease the Grease Campaign explains how to properly dispose of FOGs. Learn more at www.ceasethegrease.net. Spread the word and help protect the Bay!
  8. Houston’s Quality of Life Atlas. The Houston Sustainability Indicators (HSI) project is a long-range effort by Rice University’s Shell Center for Sustainability to assist with the measurement and characterization of sustainability in Houston. Metrics for the chosen indicators were defined and are measured based on literature review; expert and advisory consultation; and data availability. More at
  9. Additional Upcoming Events

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COMMUNITY NOTES

  1. TPWD Local Park Grants. Recreation Grants is now accepting applications for the Urban Outdoor, Non-urban Outdoor, and Small Community Local Park Grant Programs. Applications are being accepted through the online portal at https://tpwd-recgrants.fluidreview.com. If you need assistance or have questions regarding the application process, contact rec.grants@tpwd.texas.gov or 512-389-8224. A TPWD Local Parks Program Grant Workshop will be held in Austin on January 13, 2015. This session will include hands-on assistance with the new RGO online database as well as instruction on application requirements for Local Parks Program grants. Register at www.signupgenius.com.
  2. First Day Hikes in Texas State Parks. Start the year off on the right foot, the left foot, or any foot — find a First Day Hike in a state park near you on New Year’s Day! First Day Hikes vary from short, leisurely nature walks through forested trails and along boardwalks to climbs into the mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert. State park staff and volunteers will guide most hikes, and will talk about native plants, animals or park history along the way. Many walks average one to two miles long, with shorter or longer treks available. A few parks will even offer runs or paddles. There’s something for everyone! Find a hike near you by visiting https://tpwd.texas.gov. Read more about first day hikes at https://tpwd.texas.gov.
  3. Paddlers’ Weekend Adventure. There will be an overnight float trip down the Colorado River on Jan. 3-4, 2015 for all interested paddlers. This ‘unsponsored’ weekend on the water will start on Saturday morning at LCRA’s Hollywood Bottom Park in Wharton County and end on Sunday afternoon at the Nature Center near Bay City. This waterborne trek will cover a distance of 18 miles. There is no participation fee associated with this wintertime outdoor activity. However, a shuttle from the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center is available for a $12.50 donation to the MCBNC for each paddler needing to transport themselves, and their kayak or canoe, to the designated put-in location. The float trip coordinator is intimately familiar with this water trail and strongly recommends that participants have both primitive camping experience and confidence in their ability to comfortably paddle at least 9 or 10 miles per day on slow flowing flat water. Contact Willie Younger at w-younger@att.net or 979-240-4872 for details.
  4. Texas Brigades. The Texas Brigades is a wildlife-focused leadership development program for high school youth (ages 13-17). There are five different camps: Bobwhite Brigade, Buckskin Brigade, Bass Brigade, Waterfowl Brigade, and Ranch Brigade. Youth will learn habitat management, communication skills, and land ethics. Top wildlife professionals and resource managers serve as instructors and mentors. Each camp is 4 ½ days long. Information is up for summer 2015 camps. Applications are now being accepted. Learn more at www.texasbrigades.org.
  5. The Atlas of Migratory Connectivity for the Birds of North America. Princeton University Press will publish “The Atlas of Migratory Connectivity for the Birds of North America.” The atlas will contain information on migratory connectivity through a mapping project using the GSGS Bird Banding Laboratory. The goal is to make this atlas the most comprehensive source of information available on the subject. To do so, The Migratory Connectivity Project is reaching out to the ornithological community for related sources of information. Contributions are welcomed through the end of 2014. Contact Amy Scarpignato (ScarpignatoA@si.edu) with questions or to send information. Learn more at www.migratoryconnectivityproject.org.
  6. EPA’s Gulf Guardian Awards. It’s time to recognize all those great programs that benefit the Gulf through EPA’s Gulf Guardian Awards. This is an exciting competition that rewards good Gulf stewards for their efforts with an award and recognition from their State and the EPA. The deadline is January 15, 2015. The categories for nomination are: Business/Industry, Environmental Justice/Cultural Diversity, Civic and Nonprofit Organizations, Youth Environmental Education, Individual, Partnerships and Bi-national. Learn more at www.epa.gov. Applications are due by January 15, 2015.
  7. Additional Community Announcements 
  8. 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.
    • Warden of the County
    • Cleburne State Park
    • (Lesser) Chicken Land
    • Postcard from Texas: Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve*
  9. Air Quality Forecast. http://www.tceq.texas.gov/airquality/monops/forecast_today.html. Houston Clean Air Network and Realtime Ozone Mapping: http://houstoncleanairnetwork.com.
    • December 16, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.
    • December 17, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds, cool temperatures, and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.
    • December 18, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds and low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.
    • December 19, 2014: Green–Good. Moderate winds, heavy cloud cover with precipitation, and/or low incoming background levels should help to keep air quality in the “Good” range.

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