Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: April 15, 2014

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Featured

  1. USACE to complete $1.3 million Half Moon Reef project (Sandra Arnold – DVIDS, 4/7/2014)
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District is scheduled to complete construction of the $1.3 million Half Moon Reef project April 11 to restore 12 acres of sub-tidal reef and habitat located within the northernmost extent of the Half Moon Reef in Matagorda Bay, Texas – one of the largest restoration projects around the country. The project is the second segment of a larger 60-acre reef restoration project led by The Nature Conservancy to restore one of the largest oyster reefs in the Gulf of Mexico. The project funds will continue to be used to monitor and survey the reef’s progression. According to Mark Dumesnil, associate director of coastal restoration for The Nature Conservancy in Texas, experts anticipate that Half Moon Reef will provide ecosystem benefits within months of completion of the new habitat for oysters and other key marine life. Additional expectations include the reefs serving as a natural barrier to protect the shoreline from storms, decreasing erosion and helping to protect coastal communities from tropical storms.
    www.dvidshub.net
  2. Award-winning Exploration Green project to break ground in Clear Lake (Flori Meeks – Houston Chronicle, 4/8/2014)
    Several park and greenspace projects in the Clear Lake area and Galveston have been singled out for recognition by the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The council, an association of governments in a 13 Gulf Coast-area counties, presents Parks and Natural Areas Awards every year in the areas of policy tools, the planning process, on-the-ground projects over $500,000 and on-the-ground projects under $500,000. The 2013 award winners, announced earlier this year, include the Clear Lake City Water Authority’s Exploration Green project. This effort, recognized in the planning category, calls for transforming the former Clear Lake City Golf Course at 1202 Reseda Drive into a flood detention, conservation and recreation area. The Clear Lake City Water Authority, which owns the golf course property, has developed plans for creating detention ponds on the 200-acre site, along with wetland areas and natural habitats for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Plans also call for the creation of natural hike-and-bike trails, athletic fields and other recreation areas.
    www.chron.com
  3. Experts Fear Impacts of Oil Cleanup on Texas Gulf Coast (Mose Buchele – StateImpact, 4/11/2014)
    Recovery efforts continue weeks after a barge accident in the Houston Ship Channel dumped tens of thousands of barrels of oil into Galveston Bay. That oil kills wildlife and damages the environment. But some are worried the cleanup itself could also disturb the ecosystem along the Texas Gulf Coast. Nowhere is that threat more apparent than in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Every morning this week, hundreds of workers have gone out to Matagorda Island, a part of that refuge, to try to remove the oil. On a recent tour organized by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the response team appeared to work with great care, gingerly scraping thin layers of oil-drenched sand away with shovels, then depositing it into nearby excavators for delivery into larger dump trucks. Over ten tons of sand has been removed so far. The thin barrier island, like the rest of the National Wildlife Refuge, is not meant for people. Now it’s home to ATVs, bobcat excavators, dump trucks, helicopters, and hundreds of response personnel. They – and the oil – all arrived right as migratory animals are passing through on their annual trip.
    http://stateimpact.npr.org

EcoNotes

  • 14 April
    • Criticism of Water Policy Flows From Conservatives (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 12 April
    • Texas and the IPCC’s report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability (Bill Dawson – Texas Climate News)
      http://texasclimatenews.org
  • 11 April
    • The air up there: Houston’s air quality is under federal fire (Molly Ryan – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Last Block Of Artificial Oyster Reef Slides Into Place (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Experts Fear Impacts of Oil Cleanup on Texas Gulf Coast (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Texas remains wary of regulation after West (Matthew Tresaugue and Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Old Drilling Logs Help Researchers Map Brackish Water (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • EPA defends enforcement plan to focus on biggest polluters (Valerie Volcovici – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • El Nino more than 50 percent likely by summer: U.S. weather forecaster (Josephine Mason – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Democratic senators press Obama for Keystone decision by May 31 (Ros Krasny – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • U.S. storm team predicts below-average Atlantic hurricane season (Kevin Gray – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 10 April
    • Artificial reef will help restore marine bounty in Matagorda Bay (St. John Barned-Smith and Heather Alexander – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • This is What the Oil Spill Looks Like on Matagorda Island (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Council Requests Emergency Rule Resulting in 11-day Recreational Red Snapper Season for 2014 (Outdoors 360)
      www.outdoors360.com
    • Nelson Byrd Woltz firm creating Memorial Park Master Plan; open house for comment is April 16 (Your Houston News)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • City Hall Farmers Market to Relocate in May (Molly Dunn – Houston Press)
      http://blogs.houstonpress.com
    • ‘Virtual explorers’ invited to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico on NOAA expedition (NOAA News)
      www.noaanews.noaa.gov
  • 9 April
    • Walls: High Island offers plenty for bird watchers (Jerry Walls – The Courier of Montgomery County)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Grid operator endorses $590M power project for Houston area (Ryan Holeywell – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • How the Coast Guard is Managing Oil Spill Volunteers (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Senior Center Teaches Everything from Organic Gardening to Smartphones (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • State weighs draining boats to stem invasives’ drain on ecosystems (Shannon Tompkins – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Data App: Track Texas Reservoir Levels (Ryan Murphy and Kate Galbraith – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org\
    • Volunteers Playing Pivotal Role in Galveston Bay Cleanup (Dave Fehling, KUHF News/StateImpact Texas – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Four Years After BP Spill, Settlement Money Slowly Trickles In (Shawna Reding – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • How the Coast Guard is Managing Oil Spill Volunteers (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 8 April
    • Final rock to be dropped Friday in $5.4M artificial reef project in Gulf (Heather Alexander – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Award-winning Exploration Green project to break ground in Clear Lake (Flori Meeks – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Sprawling Houston sees increase in commuter cyclists (Madison Henry – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • What a Ban on Fracking in Denton Could Mean For the Rest of Texas (Alex Dropkin – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
  • 7 April
    • USACE to complete $1.3 million Half Moon Reef project (Sandra Arnold – DVIDS)
      www.dvidshub.net
    • Let’s Talk About ‘The Boom’ (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Bluebonnets are in full bloom (The Leader)
      www.theleadernews.com
    • Drought now affecting two thirds of Texas (Carrie Taylor – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Growing concern surrounds low water at North Texas lakes (Sebastian Robertson – KHOU News)
      www.khou.com
    • Timber theft investigation leads to arrest (Sarah Fletcher – KLTV News)
      www.kltv.com
  • 6 April
    • Oil spills in Galveston Bay a routine occurrence (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Scholars warn, educate public on impending county water crisis (Russell Ledbetter – The Courier of Montgomery County)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Deeper and deeper: Effects of Galveston Bay oil spill linger as clean-up continues (Katie Oxford – CultureMap Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • Latest oil incident belies painful truth (Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle – My SA News)
      www.mysanantonio.com
    • Drought threatens Texas rice farmers’ futures (Matthew Tresaugue, Houston Chronicle – News-Journal)
      www.news-journal.com
  • 4 April
  • 3 April
    • Anadarko to pay more than $5 billion to settle environmental dispute (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 2 April
  • 31 March
    • Houston Ship Channel Oil Slick Shows Up In Corpus Christi (Pat Hernandez – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Feds allow Exxon to restart Texas leg of Pegasus pipeline (Lance Murray – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Exxon Mobil not backing down from activist shareholders (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Cleaning up crab traps to save animals in the wild (Renee Bumpus – The Official Houston Zoo Blog)
      http://blogs.houstonzoo.org
  • 27 March
  • 26 March
    • Oil Spill Threatens Galveston Bay’s Fishing Industry (Neena Satija – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 24 March

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: April 8, 2014

Quote

Featured

  1. NRG increases its partnership with the Galveston Bay Foundation through $50,000 donation to support oil spill recovery (The Bay Area Citizen, 4/4/2014)
    With the oil spill response continuing in Galveston Bay and down the Texas coast and the pace increasing, the Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) received a $50,000 donation by NRG Energy—a $25,000 corporate donation matched with another $25,000 grant from the NRG Gulf Coast region—to aid GBF in oil spill recovery efforts in Galveston Bay. Currently, as the Volunteer Management Organization under a Memorandum of Agreement with the Coast Guard and the Texas General Land Office, GBF has mobilized hundreds of volunteers in the oil spill response effort.
    www.yourhoustonnews.com
  2. 29 dead dolphins found since oil spill (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle, 4/4/2014)
    Scientists are trying to determine whether an oil spill two weeks ago in Galveston Bay contributed to a higher-than-normal number of dolphin deaths. At least 29 dead dolphins have been found in the Galveston area since a ship and barge collided, spilling nearly 168,000 gallons of thick oil into Galveston Bay. The number brought the total for March to 47, above the average of 34 dolphin strandings for the month and triple last years’ total of 15, said Heidi Whitehead, state operations coordinator for the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
    www.chron.com
  3. HISD students part of first Whole Kids Farmers Market (The Examiner, 3/31/2014)
    Shoppers at Whole Foods’ Montrose-area store, 701 Waugh Dr., were able to stock their carts with fresh vegetables grown by students from nine Houston ISD schools during the Whole Kids Farmers Market on Saturday, March 29. Dozens of students were at the store to sell seasonal produce grown in their Urban Harvest-affiliated school gardens, such as beets, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, kale, lettuces, Swiss chard, snap peas, edible flowers, and herbs. The students also sold garden and craft products, such as pots, transplants, seed packets and potted plants, and students from Jefferson Davis High School Culinary Team whipped up samples. All proceeds will be reinvested in the schools’ garden or culinary programs.
    www.yourhoustonnews.com

EcoNotes

  • 6 April
    • Drought threatens Texas rice farmers’ futures (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
  • 4 April
    • NRG increases its partnership with the Galveston Bay Foundation through $50,000 donation to support oil spill recovery (The Bay Area Citizen)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Galveston Bay Oil Spill Leaves Hundreds of Birds Oiled (Cathaleen Qiao Chen – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • 29 dead dolphins found since oil spill (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Meeting on Montgomery County water supply slated for Saturday (The Potpourri)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • UH company aims to purify water, help end global water crisis (Molly Ryan – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • Feds work through millions of comments on fracking rules (Jennifer A. Dlouhy – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Hundreds of activists rally at heated hearing on oil pipeline (Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • US Clean Energy Investment Down 9% In 2013 (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • More Than 1,000 Volunteers Will Beautify Houston’s Parks And Greenspaces (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 3 April
    • Master Naturalists: Protecting colonial waterbird nesting places (Paul Meredith and Mary Meredith – Victoria Advocate)
      www.victoriaadvocate.com
    • Hermann Park’s Centennial is topic for Historical Society’s April meeting (Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • A great way to get the family outdoors (Anja Borski – The Galveston County Daily News)
      www.galvestondailynews.com
    • Giddy Up! Now You Can Buy Your Very Own Oil Well (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Originally Meant for New Mexico, Diverted Nuclear Waste Arrives in West Texas (Travis Bubenik, KRTS – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Apple, Facebook, Google Web data centers getting greener: report (Alexei Oreskovic – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Mercer Arboretum & Botanic Gardens presents ‘Cool Plants for a Hot Climate’ (Cypress Creek Mirror)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
  • 2 April
    • Houston Birding Picks Up As Spring Migration Gets Underway (Maggie Martin – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • How Does Where You Live in Houston Affect Your Health? (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • Texas Brewer Raises a Glass for Clarity on Clean Water Act (Public News Service)
      www.publicnewsservice.org
    • Texas Hoping for Edge Over New Mexico in Water Battle (Cathaleen Qiao Chen – The Texas Tribune)
      http://www.texastribune.org
    • When It Comes To Water Restrictions, How Far Should Fort Worth Go? (Doualy Xaykaothao, KERA News – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • U.S House of Representatives OKs bill calling for weather, not climate, forecasts (Ros Krasnyl – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
  • 1 April
    • Walk for the Woods Project Takes Houstonians Through Historic East End (Maggie Martin – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • How a Botanical Garden Would Fit on the Gus Wortham Golf Course and Other Tidbits from Last Night’s Hullabaloo (Swamplot)
      http://swamplot.com
    • Strange flying objects over Hermann Park cause quite a stir — and create a colorful scene (Barbara Kuntz – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • What Keeps Solar Energy from Taking Off in Texas? (Michael Hagerty – Houston Matters)
      www.houstonmatters.org
    • Texas Governor Wants to Make the State a Home for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Terrence Henry – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Deforestation of sandy soils a greater threat to climate change (Kevin Dennehy – Yale News)
      http://news.yale.edu
    • Are Drilling Waste Pits a Threat to Texas Groundwater? (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • EPA Seeks to Clarify Federal Water Law (Shelby Sementelli – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Congress to EPA: Investigate and Address Water Contamination From Fracking (EcoWatch)
      http://ecowatch.com
    • Larger areas of Texas fall into severe drought (My Fox Austin News)
      www.myfoxaustin.com
    • U.S. allows partial restart of Exxon pipeline a year after spill (Timothy Gardner, Selam Gebrekidan, and Sabina Zawadzki – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Bayou Preservation Association calls for Terry Hershey Stewardship Award nominations (Memorial Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
  • 31 March
    • Volunteers to hit the beaches today to search for more tar balls (Wes Smith – The Galveston County Daily News)
      www.galvestondailynews.com
    • Houston Ship Channel Oil Slick Shows Up In Corpus Christi (Pat Hernandez – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Idea for hurricane evacuation route raises concerns for Katy prairie (Carol Christian – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • HISD students part of first Whole Kids Farmers Market (The Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Effects of Galveston Oil Spill Persist on Texas Coast (Environmental Protection)
      http://eponline.com
    • Tail Risk vs. Alarmism, (Kerry Emanuel – Climate Change National Forum)
      http://climatechangenationalforum.org
    • How Researchers Are Recording the Sound of a Massive Bat Die-Off (Mose Buchele – StateImpact)
    • http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • The White Oak Bayou Hike and Bike Trail Is Open Again in Oak Forest (Swamplot)
      http://swamplot.com
    • Solar power shines in eyes of Americans (Emily Pickrell – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • Exxon: Future climate rules won’t curb fossil fuel investments (Collin Eaton – Fuel Fix)
      http://fuelfix.com
    • This Texas man is fighting the drought one tank of rainwater at a time (Amelia Urry – Grist)
      http://grist.org
  • 30 March
    • Galveston Bay oil spill could have lasting effect (Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Creepy crazy ants swarm into Houston: Billions of them are invading — with the warm weather (Barbara Kuntz – Culture Map Houston)
      http://houston.culturemap.com
    • Lack of water threatens rice farmers (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
  • 28 March
    • Dry, windy conditions have some Texas farmers talking Dust Bowl (Carol Christian – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
  • 27 March
    • States’ feathers ruffled as feds declare lesser prairie chicken threatened (Lindsay Wise – Kansas City News)
      www.kansascity.com
    • CenterPoint, Direct Energy, Join UH In Electric Power Research Venture (Andrew Schneider – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 26 March
    • Texas A&M AgriLife center makes ‘WaterSense’ for Dallas metro area (AgriLife Today)
      http://today.agrilife.org
    • Galveston Bay oil spill imperils thousands of birds (Bird Life International)
      www.birdlife.org
  • 22 March
    • Wild turkey expert reveals habits of these birds in breeding season (Ray Sasser – The Dallas Morning News)
      www.dallasnews.com