Houston Environmental News Update June 6, 2018

On Friday, June 8, 2018, people all around the globe will celebrate World Oceans Day, first observed in 1992 following the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (or the Earth Summit), in Rio de Janeiro. World Oceans Day was officially recognized by the U.N. General Assembly in 2008, and is promoted internationally by the World Ocean Network and in the U.S. by The Ocean Project. This year, the theme for the occasion is preventing plastic pollution, a scourge all too prevalent in our region’s streams, rivers, bayous and, of course, Galveston Bay, our connection to the oceans.

Here in the greater Houston region have several opportunities to celebrate the oceans through educational and fun ways, all geared toward families.

First up, on Friday, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the Houston Museum of Natural Science will host a Family Festival, featuring a “dive” on life-size 2D coral reefs of the Gulf of Mexico with Rice University’s Dr. Adrienne Correa, along with presentations by Rice’s Department of Earth Science. At various hands-on stations, researchers from several organizations will share their appreciation for the oceans and marine life and ways we can help in their conservation. For more information, visit hmns.org.

Also on Friday, from 4:30-8 p.m., Artist Boat will host its annual World Oceans Day Festival at Galveston’s Stewart Beach. Local, regional, and state organizations will come together to provide engaging activities to help visitors understand the human connection to the ocean. The event will feature a marine debris art contest, live entertainment, and more. For more information, visit artistboat.org.

Also on the island, Moody Gardens is hosting a two-day celebration, beginning on Friday with a free screening of the documentary Chasing Coral, with discussion with staff from NOAA’s Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (our local coral reef). On Saturday, the new film Oceans: Our Blue Planet 3D will open, including opportunities to hear about a new 3-year Coral Research Program with Rice University; and several free oceanic themed activities geared toward kids (K-12) inside the Aquarium Pyramid. For more information, visit moodygardens.com.

On Saturday, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Houston Zoo will host a World Oceans Day event where families can learn how to help keep the oceans healthy. The event will include information about marine debris and sustainable seafood, a live DJ and opportunities to learn about how to save sea lions. For more information, visit houstonzoo.org.



CEC NOTES


Houston Green Film Series: Evolution of Organic

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners for Evolution of Organic on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Arrive at 6:30 for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7:00. Mark Kitchell’s Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. Not just a history, the film looks forward to exciting and important futures: the next generation who are broadening organic; what lies “beyond organic”; and carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate change – maybe the best news on the planet. Learn more on Facebook.

On July 18, plant to join us for STRAWS, in recognition of Plastic Free July.


Please save the date–or even better, register–for CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Annually, CEC hosts a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region.

This year’s program includes:

  • Excellent Keynote and Featured Speakers: Will be announced soon!
  • Table Talks: Small group discussions with experts on a variety of topics related to our post-Harvey theme, including impacts on our air and water quality, environmental justice initiatives, wildlife and landscape conservation, and efforts to build resiliency for our future.  A cross between a breakout session and speed networking.
  • Exhibit tables from CEC member groups and local businesses. (See the registration page to reserve your exhibit table.)
  • Delicious, locally-grown food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen.
  • A few surprises 🙂

Further event details are provided on the Eventbrite Registration page.


Internships with CEC Houston

CEC is looking to collaborate with our community to provide opportunities for interns–both CEC’s interns and interns with our member organizations–to learn about the issues and initiatives that make our environmental community so vibrant and important. If you would be willing to provide a tour or mentoring meeting with some amazing interns, or if you have an intern who might be interested in participating in such opportunities, please contact [email protected]


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.

COALITION & COMMUNITY NOTES

2018 Mid-Year Environmental Review

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly took the photo above of Houston and the Gulf Coast as the International Space Station flew overhead.At the end of 2017, we asked you, our readers, to let us know what you see as issues or events of importance to the greater Houston region’s environmental community for 2018. This is what you told us:

  • Resiliency
  • Flood mitigation and management
  • Air quality
  • Toxic chemical storage and flooding
  • Improved public transport
  • Land conservation as preserves, esp. prairies
  • Stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure from being built
  • Putting a price on carbon pollution.
  • Regulations reducing the use and disposal of plastics
  • Earth Day
  • Emerson UU Renewable Congregations Campaign

As a community, are we making progress on these items? Have other environmental accomplishments, controversies, issues, news, or events emerged as significant for the greater Houston region? Let us know what you think.

Houston Environmental News Update May 30, 2018

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968, a direct result of the Trails for America report Johnson had tasked the Department of the Interior to develop three years earlier. “The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride, horseback, or bicycle. For them we must have trails as well as highways,” he said in a 1965 speech. “Old and young alike can participate. Our doctors recommend and encourage such activity for fitness and fun.”

Johnson’s advice a half-century ago is just as relevant today, and residents of the greater Houston area will have no dearth of opportunities to enjoy hiking and biking on Saturday, June 2, 2018, as we mark National Trails Day. Foremost among them may be the city’s burgeoning Bayou Greenways 2020 project, including the massively popular Buffalo Bayou Park and several other newly developed greenways throughout the city. At Memorial Park, you can celebrate while helping clean up the park’s trails. REI is sponsoring a similar event at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center .

Other regional events will be held at:

Folks can get outside the big city to enjoy any number of other hiking and biking opportunities, including the Lone Star Hiking Trail * at Sam Houston National Forest, 50 miles to the north, and at several nearby state parks. The Hiking Project, an online directory, offers a ranked listing of area trails here. Similar lists are available from trails.com and alltrails.com.

On Tuesday, June 5, we celebrate World Environment Day, an occasion through which the United Nations encourages “worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment.” First held in 1974, the theme for this year’s event is reducing plastic pollution.

Here at home, our world-renowned nondenominational worship space, the Rothko Chapel, will observe World Environment Day at 6 p.m. with a “Twilight Meditation” led by local environmental poet Martha Serpas focusing on “the paradoxes of water.” Attendees are invited to bring an image of water to place inside the Chapel upon entering for the meditation. For more information and to RSVP, visit rothkochapel.org.

And speaking of water, stay tuned for next week’s newsletter featuring a wrap-up of area activities marking World Oceans Day!

* The banner photo above is just a tiny bit of the 129-mile Lone Star Hiking Trail, a National Recreation Trail, which meanders the breadth of the Sam Houston National Forest.


CEC NOTES

HAAPIFEST: Poisoning Paradise film
CEC is pleased to be a promotional partner and panelist for the June 5, 2018, showing of Poisoning Paradise as part of the Houston Asian American Pacific Islander Film Festival. Journey to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians, whose communities are surrounded by experimental test sites for genetically engineered seed corn and pesticides sprayed upwind of their homes, schools, hospitals, and shorelines. Discover what’s at stake for Hawaii from local activists, scientific experts and healthcare professionals as they expose the effects of environmental injustice on a local population. Join the international debate about pesticides that is raging around the world, as well as the people’s movement to hold corporations and governments accountable for poisoning planet Earth. The Festival begins on May 31, and runs through June 8, 2018.

Houston Green Film Series: Evolution of Organic

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners for Evolution of Organic on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Arrive at 6:30 for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7:00. Mark Kitchell’s Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. Not just a history, the film looks forward to exciting and important futures: the next generation who are broadening organic; what lies “beyond organic”; and carbon farming and sequestration as a solution to climate change – maybe the best news on the planet. Learn more on Facebook.

On July 18, plant to join us for STRAWS, in recognition of Plastic Free July.


Please save the date–or even better, register–for CEC’s Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Friday, August 10, 2018.

Annually, CEC hosts a networking and learning event for the extraordinary people who work at or are interested in the work of environmental organizations in the greater Houston region.

This year’s program includes:

  • Excellent Keynote and Featured Speakers: Will be announced soon!
  • Table Talks: Small group discussions with experts on a variety of topics related to our post-Harvey theme, including impacts on our air and water quality, environmental justice initiatives, wildlife and landscape conservation, and efforts to build resiliency for our future.  A cross between a breakout session and speed networking.
  • Exhibit tables from CEC member groups and local businesses. (See the registration page to reserve your exhibit table.)
  • Delicious, locally-grown food from Pat Greer’s Kitchen.
  • A few surprises 🙂

Further event details are provided on the Eventbrite Registration page.


Volunteer Internships with CEC Houston

CEC hopes to hire several volunteer interns this summer, with meaningful work, a mentorship program, field trips, flexible hours, and a constant supply of chocolate. If you or someone you know is interested, please send a resume to [email protected] will start introducing you to our interns later this week.

CEC is looking to collaborate with our community to provide opportunities for interns–both CEC’s interns and interns with our member organizations–to learn about the issues and initiatives that make our environmental community so vibrant and important. If you would be willing to provide a tour or mentoring meeting with some amazing interns, or if you have an intern who might be interested in participating in such opportunities, please contact [email protected]


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.

COALITION & COMMUNITY NOTES