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| Announcements
H-GAC Logo COVID-19 Response: H-GAC Operations and Resources

The Houston-Galveston Area Council is working to help minimize the health impacts of our region. The safety and well-being of our employees, their family members, and the people we serve remains paramount during this rapidly changing event as we continue to provide the utmost service to our region. 

For your convenience, we have combined our agency resources in a single webpage, including information about teleworking and meeting resources, Workforce Solutions, small business assistance and cooperative purchasing, research and data, H-GAC Board of Directors meetings, and more.

H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department provides the following resources for local governments and communities.

Recycle binsH-GAC Solid Waste Grants Applications Due April 16

H-GAC receives a portion of the money collected as tipping fees at landfills across the state as pass-through funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to fund solid waste grant projects throughout the 13-county region.
As part of this program, H-GAC will award more than $200,000 in  solid waste program grant funds to  eligible projects through a competitive process.
Grant applications are due at noon Thursday, April 16. 
For more information about the grant program or to be added to an e-mail list to receive future solid waste grant notifications, contact  Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

H-GAC to Release Livable Centers Call for Planning Study Partners

H-GAC will release a call for planning study partners for the Livable Centers program in May. Partners are local governments or other eligible project sponsors.
This is not a request for proposals from consulting firms. 
Livable Centers planning studies
  • Help create quality, walkable, mixed-use places;
  • Create multi-modal travel choices;
  • Improve environmental quality; and
  • Promote economic development and housing choice. 
Study recommendations may lead to projects for possible inclusion in the Regional Transportation Plan and future Transportation Improvement Programs. H-GAC anticipates identifying several locations for new Livable Centers studies to recommend for funding.
H-GAC and project partners have completed 30 Livable Centers studies. Learn more about the program's progress in the  10-year evaluation report and summary .
More information about deadlines, specific application content, and pre-proposal meetings will be available  online .
For more information, email  [email protected] .

Trash Bash Cancelled for First Time

For the first time in 27 years, the Texas Conservation Fund made the tough decision to cancel this year's River, Lakes, Bays N' Bayous Trash Bash to encourage the health and safety of the region. 

For our site coordinators and long-time volunteers, Trash Bash is more than a single day event--it has become a part of the fabric of their lives.  It is also a part of our community fabric. School groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and many corporate volunteer groups and professional groups look forward to Trash Bash each year as an opportunity to come together and do something great for our waterways.  

It is an annual opportunity to celebrate the incredible natural resources we have in our region and educate new audiences about their importance. Please know that we missed  seeing all of you at Trash Bash this year. But, next year Trash Bash will return on Saturday, March 27, 2021, where we can all "Clean It Like We Mean It!"

April is Fair Housing Month

April is Fair Housing Month, and H-GAC reminds everyone that when it comes to housing, the Federal Fair Housing Act makes it against the law to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or family status. This applies to both selling or renting housing.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently launched a new resource landing page on the prevention of sexual harassment in housing and offers free, online training in addressing and preventing sexual and other discriminatory harassment in housing.

Anyone who feels their fair housing rights have been violated should contact the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777. For more information, visit .

| Upcoming Events
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - April 28

H-GAC's next  Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable  is from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 28. This roundtable will be presented as a webinar. The topic will be "Remaining Economically Competitive."
H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas.
Registration for this webinar is required. For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo  at 713-993-4520.

recycling_thumbs_up.jpg Solid Waste Workshop: Recycling -
May 21

H-GAC's next Solid Waste Workshop will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, May 21. The workshop will focus on recycling and will be presented as a webinar. Confirmed presenters include representatives from Keep Texas Recycling and State of Texas Recycling Alliance.

H-GAC's Solid Waste Workshops focus on in-depth studies of different topics each quarter.

Registration is required for the webinar. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.
| Partner Announcements
Connected Nation in white on a blue background Broadband Surveys Underway in Liberty, Walker and Wharton Counties
Connected Nation, through a grant provided by the Texas Rural Funders Collaborative, is conducting rural broadband studies in Liberty, Walker, and Wharton counties in the region. Connected Nation is conducting surveys of residents, businesses, and organizations to gather data on their internet access and needs. If you live in Liberty, Walker, or Wharton county, please take the survey and share the link with your friends and neighbors. Understanding internet use and needs is crucial to making the business case for expansion in rural areas. Your participation is appreciated.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Resilient Texas Website
Texas communities working on long-term recovery from Hurricane Harvey can find Infoshare resources at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's new Resilient Texas website. Visit the site for both new and previous information shared in weekly emails. FEMA's Texas Recovery Office partnered with AgriLife on the site and will continue to provide resources both in email and for the website.
AARP Livable Communities written around bicyclists pedestrians bus and housing American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) 2020 Community Challenge - Deadline Extended
The application period for the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) 2020 Community Challenge is now open. The AARP Community Challenge provides small grants to fund "quick-action" projects that can help communities become more livable for people of all ages. Applications are being accepted for projects to improve housing, transportation, public space, technology ("smart cities"), civic engagement and more. The deadline to apply is Friday, May 15, and all projects must be complete by Friday, December 18.
Keep Texas Beautiful written in blue and green with a green texas above Keep Texas Beautiful Awards
Each year,  Keep Texas Beautiful honors Texas communities, businesses, schools, media outlets, and individuals who work to keep the environment clean. Learn more about the  Individual and Organization Awards, the  Governor's Community Achievement Awards, and the  Youth and Educator Awards. Applications open and close at various times throughout the year.
Trash Free Texas Get Involved With Trash Free Texas
Trash Free Texas strives to keep trash out of area waterways by working with communities and organizations across the state to connect people to places that need routine litter cleanup activities. Local governments and organizations can get involved by using the  Adopt-a-Spot online interactive mapping application

| More Upcoming Events
SBA Logo
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Webinars
The U.S. Small Business Administration Dallas/Fort Worth District Office will host live webinars on alternating Wednesdays. The topic is  SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 - Learn About it and How To Apply. Webinars are April 1, 8 and 22 and May 6 and 20. The presentations will be from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. and are free for small businesses.

US Composting Council Webinar Series: Composting in the Time of COVID-19
The US Composting Council presents a four-part webinar series discussing Composting in the Time of COVID-19. Part 1: Reviewing Safe Procedures for Composting Feedstocks with Possible Coronavirus Contamination will be at noon Wednesday, April 1. The remaining three parts of the series will be later in April. 

National Regional Transportation Conference Presentation Ideas
NRTC 2020 with National Regional Transportation Conference written around it in a circle The National Regional Transportation Conference , July 28-30, in Kansas City, Missouri, welcomes regional transportation planners, mobility professionals, state DOT representatives, and local and private sector partners. The conference will be held in conjunction with the National Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) Forum, July 29 - 31. 

EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference
United State Environmental Protection Agency The EPA Region 6, in partnership with the City of New Orleans, the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s), and States in Region 6, is hosting the 22nd Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference August 9-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference provides participants national, regional and state updates on water regulations and policy, as well as information and education on stormwater controls, water conservation management practices, and new technologies that can address stormwater pollution discharges to surface waters. This event provides valuable networking opportunities to exchange thoughts, concepts, experiences, and knowledge about water quality, water resources, and sustainable practices. Early registration is $300 through Monday, June 1.

| News and Notes
simple-grass-graphic.gif Environmental Impact Bonds: A New Opportunity for Texas, Webinar

The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and the outcomes-based capital firm Quantified Ventures are exploring the idea of launching an "environmental impact bond (EIB) challenge" in Texas.
The Mitchell Foundation seeks to make local governments, nonprofit project developers, engineering firms and private foundations aware of the opportunity afforded by pay-for-performance EIBs.

An opportunity to learn more about pay-for-performance EIBs will be a webinar from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 22. Registration is required . If you are a representative of a city agency, county, utility, water authority, sewer authority, engineering firm or environmental nonprofit, we want to engage your interest. 
Contact Ernest Cook for more information.

Harvey Households Covered by FEMA Group Flood Insurance Need to Buy Standard Insurance by October 24

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reminding Texans that FEMA provided Group Flood Insurance Policies (GFIP) to 6,704 households across counties impacted by Harvey.

These three-year policies end Saturday, October 24, so policyholders must plan now to switch to a standard flood insurance policy to ensure continuous coverage. Those who received a GFIP policy as part of their FEMA disaster assistance after Harvey but don't buy a standard flood insurance policy won't receive federal disaster assistance for home repairs if they experience another flood event.

| Funding Sources
Funding Opportunities

H-GAC has compiled a list of local, regional, state, federal, and private funding sources for local governments and other organizations. H-GAC also maintains a list of ongoing funding opportunities for parks improvements.

If you know of a funding opportunity, forward it to Andrea Tantillo.

All content, including links to websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.

| More Information and Programs
Mapping Applications
Looking for interactive applications or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department? Visit H-GAC's interactive applications web page.

H-GAC has a Facebook page where information about current and upcoming events is posted. Please visit and like H-GAC's page. While there, visit other H-GAC pages on Facebook, including Recycling, Trash Bash, Regional Data Lab, Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), and West Fork Watersheds Partnership.

Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed @HouGalvAreaCog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region @HGACwater.