Houston Environmental News Update August 29, 2018

Well, sometimes we are just stumped trying to figure out what topic to use to lead off the newsletter.
Harvey, which is certainly top of the mind, is a possible topic. Voters in Harris County approved $2.5 billion in bonds to finance flood damage reduction projects in Harris County. Harris County Flood Control District will prioritize, plan, and build projects with the bond funding – and promises to provide transparent tracking of progress on those projects along the way. Let’s make sure that the environmental community continues to be part of the discussion. Meetings commemorating the one-year anniversary of Harvey continue, and some great events are described below.
While in Houston we are thinking about immense volumes of water from Harvey, people in other parts of the state are likely thinking about a lack of water. Abnormal dryness or drought are currently affecting about 74% of the state’s population, including areas in the west and south of the region, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Remember the 2010-2015 Texas drought?

The anniversary of the National Wilderness Act is coming up on Monday, and might be a lead topic. Texas is home to six federally designated wilderness areas, and five of them are in in east Texas: Big Slough, Indian Mounds, Little Lake Creek, Turkey Hill, and Upland Island, all under the purview of the USDA Forest Service. (Guadalupe Mountains wilderness area is much further west.) The hiking trail at Little Lake Creek can be accessed near Conroe, and might make a good day trip, once it’s a little cooler out.

Speaking of cooler… The advent of September makes as all hope for cooler weather. We chose the photo of wood ferns, above, in part to help you envision cooler weather. We also chose it to highlight the upcoming Wildscapes Workshop & Native Plant Sale, hosted by the Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter on September 22, 2018. Sign up quickly, as the event is almost sold out! Stay cool!


CEC NOTES

Houston Green Film Series

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners on September 19, 2018, for a screening of Dirt Rich, which explores the connection between regenerative agriculture and climate change (see the trailer). Dirt Rich shifts focus from greenhouse gas emissions to carbon draw-down, which many believe is the only viable solution for reversing the effects of runaway global warming in a timely manner. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7 p.m. For more information, see the Facebook event.

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners on October 17, for “Wild About Houston, A Green Film Festival,” to showcase local short films telling environmental stories. Email [email protected] if you have a film to submit!
6:30 p.m. conversation, networking, and a light meal
7:00 p.m. film screening, followed by a panel discussion. Panelists to be announced.Free to the public, though donations are kindly appreciated. For more information, see the Facebook event.
And be sure to mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, 2019, when we’ll be hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour.

CEC Seeks Board & Committee Members
The CEC is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our 2019 Board of Directors and on board committees (programs, publications, membership, governance, finance, and development). Our Governance Committee will be hosting informational open houses for potential board members September 24 and October 22, 2018. If you are interested, please send an email with your résumé to [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

Houston Environmental News Update August 22, 2018

First, if you are registered to vote in Harris County and haven’t done so already, VOTE on Saturday, August 5, 2018, in the Harris Count Flood Control District bond election. The proposition is whether HCFCD should issue “bonds in an amount not to exceed $2,500,000.00, for flood control purposes and the levying of the tax of the District in payment thereof.”  At hcfcd.org, the Flood Control District has posted a great deal of information about potential projects, the results of public input, and an interactive map. More info about voting is at Harrisvotes.org.

Next, welcome back to school!

Students, teachers, and parents who are celebrating/bemoaning the start of school might appreciate this information about some local environmental resources that can make school more interesting, meaningful, and fun.

  1. Houston Environmental Resources for Educators (HERE in Houston): HERE in Houston is a one-stop shop for classroom and informal educators, Texas Master Naturalists, and Scout leaders, looking to teach about the environment of the Houston-Galveston Region. This resource is an initiative of Texas Children in Nature – Houston with special project support from the Katy Prairie Conservancy. CEC is proud to support this effort, which highlights educational resources relating to ecosystems, wildlife, sustainability, watersheds, gardening, field trips, service opportunities, and careers. We frequently add new resources, so check back often! We recently added High-School Level Prairie Lessons and Activities created by Westside High School Teacher Carolyn Klein. Please suggest additional resources by emailing [email protected]
  2. Every Kid in a Park Program – Houston: FREE transportation is once again available for field trips to our amazing local outdoor spaces for Title I fourth graders for the 2018-2019 school year! Houston EKIP collaborates with national, state, and local organizations who provide a variety of curriculum-based natural, cultural, and historical field trips correlated with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  These transportation funds are made available through a grant from the National Park Foundation for the 2018-2019 academic school year. Please share this information with fourth grade teachers! All fourth graders–and their families–get free access to most national parks and a plethora of other public lands the the national EKIP program. The banner photo above is leafprints made by fourth graders on a visit to Big Thicket National Preserve on an EKIP filed trip..
  3. Texas Children in Nature (TCiN) Summit and Champion Awards Luncheon: On December 6 & 7 in Corpus Christi, the Summit will bring together leaders from the health, education, conservation, built environment and faith communities for two days of learning, networking and turning inspiration into action. A full schedule of events, speaker profiles, and registration information is available at texaschildreninnature.org.
If you are heading back to college, please know that CEC hires a variety of paid and unpaid interns each semester to help with website content curation and the newsletter, communications and marketing, videography, event planning, bookkeeping, Salesforce, and more. We are often able to work with students seeking academic credit for an internship, and have worked with students studying public policy, professional writing, endangered species, environmental management, and other topics. Learn more at cechouston.org/volunteer/, or email [email protected]

 

CEC NOTES


Houston Green Film Series

Please join CEC, the Houston Green Film Series, Rice Media Center, and additional partners on September 19, 2018, for a screening of Dirt Rich, which explores the connection between regenerative agriculture and climate change (see the trailer). Dirt Rich shifts focus from greenhouse gas emissions to carbon draw-down, which many believe is the only viable solution for reversing the effects of runaway global warming in a timely manner. Arrive at 6:30 p.m. for conversation, networking, and a light meal. We’ll begin the film promptly at 7 p.m. For more information, see the Facebook event.

In October, we’ll host “Wild About Houston, A Green Film Festival,” to showcase local short films telling environmental stories. Let us know if you have a film to submit!

Mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, 2019, when we’ll be hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour.


CEC Seeks Board & Committee Members
The CEC is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our 2019 Board of Directors and on board committees (programs, publications, membership, governance, finance, and development). Our Governance Committee will be hosting informational open houses for potential board members September 24 and October 22, 2018. If you are interested, please send an email with your résumé to [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

Houston Environmental News Update August 15, 2018

August 25 marks the one-year anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Harvey, believed to be the most devastating storm event, in terms of monetary damages, in U.S. history.

The hurricane, which first caused heavy damage along Texas’s central Gulf coast and then central Texas, then went on to park itself over the greater Houston-Galveston region over several days, unleashing unprecedented amounts of rainfall and creating enormous flooding. Even more sadly, several people lost their lives.

With such a momentous anniversary upon us, it’s no wonder that we will be “inundated” with media stories, opinion pieces, and public events geared around the storm.

As just one example, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Severe Storm Prediction, Education, and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center recently released a joint report, co-authored by Jim Blackburn and Phillip Bedient, called “Houston a Year after Harvey: Where We Are and Where We Need To Be.”

Blackburn, a noted environmental attorney, will be the featured speaker at a related Baker Institute event on August 30 called “Houston a Year After Harvey: Ongoing Flooding Challenges and Proposed Solutions.”

Other public events include:

And, of course, if you live in Harris County, you have the opportunity to vote in a $2.5 Billion flood control bond election on August 25, 2018, or vote early between now and August 21, 2018. Find out more at Harrisvotes.com. More info below.

If you know of any we’ve missed, please send us a note at [email protected]

Today’s banner image courtesy Glassock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University.

CEC NOTES


Houston Green Film Series

On September 19, we will be showing Dirt Rich, another excellent film, this time about the connection between regenerative agriculture and climate change.

In October, we’ll host “Wild About Houston, A Green Film Festival,” to showcase local short films telling environmental stories. Let us know if you have a film to submit!

Mark your calendar for January 30 & 31, 2019, when we’ll be hosting the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour.


CEC Seeks Board & Committee Members
The CEC is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on our 2019 Board of Directors and on board committees (programs, publications, membership, governance, finance, and development). Our Governance Committee will be hosting informational open houses for potential board members September 24 and October 22, 2018. If you are interested, please send an email with your résumé to [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