Houston Environmental News Update November 29, 2017

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in #GivingTuesday and #BigGiveHouston on Tuesday. More individuals made donations to CEC in one day than have done so in years (and possibly ever). We are tremendously grateful.
Your support allows us to connect our environmental community through
  • Our weekly newsletter, the indispensable Houston Environmental News Update
  • Our Environmental Resource Guide, your source for invaluable information on each environmental group in the Gulf Coast region
  • Events such as the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour in January, Earth Day Houston in April, “Stump the Treehugger” environmental trivia contest in May, and the Greater Houston Environmental Summit in August
  • Continuously updated listings of the most environmentally-friendly jobs and events in the region

It’s not too late to give!

You can donate securely through PayPal Giving Fund, at Network for Good (which makes it easy to set up recurring donations), on Facebook, or with a credit card at cechouston.org. As always, you may send a check (payable to Citizens’ Environmental Coalition) to PO Box 702, Houston, TX 77001. 

Banner Photo Credit

The photo above is an excerpt from the EPA’s Record of Decision for the San Jacinto River Waste PIts Superfund Site. (The first image isn’t until page 207 of the 45 page report, and the second on page 404. Ugh.) EPA is hosting a public meeting on Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, about the site. Scroll down for more info. Galveston Bay Foundation has been critical to sharing information throughout the process.

Speaking of which… Galveston Bay Foundation is one of three CEC member orgs that are part of the Houston Chronicle’s $1 Million Dollar Charity Ad Giveaway.
The other two organizations are The Mercer Society, which is hoping to use the support to help recover from unprecedented damage at Mercer Botanic Gardens due to Harvey, and Trees for Houston, which plants, protects, and promotes trees in the greater Houston region. You can vote once a day to help them win a million bucks worth of adverting.

Scroll down to read notes from our member organizations and the community, or view the emailed version of the newsletter, which includes a green job listing.


Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour: Tickets now on sale!

Following our wildly successful 2017 showing, the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition is proud to bring the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour, one of the largest environmental film festivals in North America, back to Houston for the fourth year for two nights: January 24 & 25, 2018!

We invite you to join us at the  2018 W&SFF On Tour to be held at the historic River Oaks Theatre, where up to 450 patrons each night will enjoy about 10 different films each night highlighting the latest environmental issues. We selected films that showcase the links between beauty, environment, adventure, quality of life, and action. By showing these films, CEC is working to connect individuals and organizations to create a stronger Gulf Coast environmental community.
Early bird tickets available until January 10, 2018 on Eventbrite.


We have tried to confirm the events listed below, but not all organizations have updated their websites. Please consider confirming directly with the hosts.

  1. The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. lecture: The Air We Breathe
    How much do you know about the air we breathe in and around the Woodlands and Montgomery County? Montgomery County is seemingly a long way from the congestion and industry of Houston, but is it subject to similar air quality issues? On November 30, 2017, join Dr. Stephanie Thomas, a researcher and community organizer at Public Citizen, as she addresses these issues and some of the upcoming opportunities to improve air quality. Learn more at thewoodlandsgreen.org.
  2. Houston Sunday Streets
    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. On Sunday, December 3, 2017, the event will be held in the Energy Corridor District, along Eldridge Parkway. Learn more at Houstontx.gov.
  3. Woodland Park Community Meeting
    Plans have been in the works for several years to make the southeast entrance to the Woodland Heights neighborhood more attractive and to make the connection between the White Oak Bayou Hike and Bike Trail to Woodland Park safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The proposed project has received city (specifically the Dept. of Public Works) approval, and a public community meeting will be held to present the design on Monday, December 4, 2017, at the Woodland Park community center at 7:00 PM. Learn more at friendsofwoodlandpark.org.
  4. EPA Cleanup Plan: San Jacinto River Waste Pits Informational & Community Meeting
    San Jacinto Waste Pits areaThe EPA invites you to join them for an informational and community meeting at the Highlands Community Center on December 4, 2017, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. CT. Please click the notice link for more information: San Jacinto River Waste Pits Informational & Community Meeting Public Notice. On October 11, U2017, the cleanup plan to address highly toxic dioxin contamination at the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site in Harris County, Texas was approved. The selected remedy will protect human health and the environment by removing highly contaminated material from the site and securing less contaminated areas.
  5. TWA’sSkunks & Armadillos Youth Videoconfence
    Meet the nine-banded armadillo and the striped skunk. Although their defense behaviors and adaptations benefit them in their wild environment, these same behaviors do not fare well in urban habitats. Most people cannot help but turn up their noses when they think about these two animals, but after the Texas Wildlife Association’s class you will understand the ecological benefit of these fascinating wildlife species. Join TWA as they clear up some common untruths with the help of  friendly guest stars. Learn more about the online videoconference–and many others–at texas-wildlife.org.
  6. Green Infrastructure Disparities:  Social Justice Through Design
    At 11 AM on December 5, 2018, join in the quarterly meeting of the TCIN-Houston, a group of stakeholders passionate in collaborating to get our children outside & into nature so that they are healthier, happier, and smarter. A quick analysis of the city shows a clear correlation between socioeconomic stratification and access to green infrastructure. Small design interventions can make big impacts in these areas. This month, guest speakers Abigail Phillips & Ana delos Angeles, of Asakura Robinson, will discuss their work with a school in Houston’s greater Fifth Ward, a daycare center in Houston’s greater Third Ward, and a center for early childhood in the Gulfton area to serve as examples of minimal design strategies aimed at providing access to nature in urban environments. Their presentation will review the opportunities and constraints for each of these three projects as well as discuss goals moving forward.  We will also receive an update on HCPH’s ECOS program and updates from our TCIN members.  Please RSVP to [email protected].
  7. H-GAC Technical Advisory Committee
    H-GAC’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) reviews and evaluates H-GAC’s regional transportation plans and provides its  recommendations to the TPC. The TAC is an appointed body, which is comprised of representatives of member governments and special citizen interest groups with expertise in transportation planning. At its meeting on December 6, 2017, in addition to reviewing amendments to the 2017-2020 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and 2040 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), agenda items include investment strategies and a review of the Eco-logical mapping tool and environmental justice activities. Learn more at H-GAC.com.
  8. Urban Harvest seeks Volunteers for 1/13/18 Fruit Tree Sale
    Urban Harvest’s 18th Annual Fruit Tree Sale will be on Saturday Jan 13, 2018, at the Houston Community College West Loop Parking Lot, 5601 West Loop S, Houston, TX 77081, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (or until sold out). Details are being added at urbanharvest.org/fruit-tree-sale. If you are interested in volunteering, fill out the volunteer form at urbanharvest.org/fts/volunteer. Volunteer manager Scott Howard will contact you about volunteer positions, responsibilities, date and time period(s) you want to work and who you will report to. Volunteers will also be given access to the pre-order website to select and order your personal fruit trees in advance of the sale.
  9. OE SBIR/STTR Funding Program Application Opens
    On November 27, 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy will be announcing funding opportunity information for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Funding opportunities may be related to electricity delivery, energy reliability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and environmental management. The deadline for proposals is Feb. 26, 2018. Learn more at science.energy.gov.
  10. Buffalo Bayou Park wins ULI 2017-2018 Global Award for Excellence
    Congratulations to Buffalo Bayou Partnership, SWA’s Houston Studio, and collaborating designers at Page! Buffalo Bayou Park has been selected as one of only thirteen international winners in the Urban Land Institute 2017 Global Awards for Excellence. Buffalo Bayou Park stretches over 2.3 miles and offers Houston residents access to one of the region’s last unchannelized urban waterways. With more than 15 miles of pedestrian and bike paths, including four pedestrian bridges, Houstonians can explore the restored ecology of the bayou. In late August, Hurricane Harvey unleashed more than 1 trillion gallons of water over the Houston region, exceeding the city’s average annual rainfall within just a three-day period. Through SWA’s resilient design the park conveyed stormwater, protected adjacent real estate, and sustained minimal damage to primary park amenities.

Additional Upcoming Events