Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Upcoming Events
Texas Clean Rivers Logo
Annual Basin Steering Committee Meeting - May 1

The annual Clean Rivers Program Basin Steering Committee meeting will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today, May 1, at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston .  

Presentations will include updates on the Clean Rivers Program plus a discussion about the draft 2018 Basin Highlights Report. Additional presentations/updates will be given for current programs, including the various Watershed Protection Plan projects, the BIG, Basin 11 and 13 TMDL projects, Trash Bash, and the Coastal Communities program.

For more information, contact Todd Running at 713-993-4539. 

Texas Stream Team Volunteer sampling at water's edge
Texas Stream Team Training -  May 4

Registration continues for a Texas Stream Team Phase I and II training from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, May 4, at Buffalo Bayou Partnership, 1019 Commerce St., Suite 200, Houston. This training is for volunteers who wish to monitor in the greater Houston area. Registration is limited to 20 volunteers.

Volunteers complete three phases of training using a test kit that measures physical and chemical parameters in water. Volunteers are asked to monitor their site(s) monthly at the same time of day each month, for a two-year commitment. Monitoring takes approximately one to two hours per month per site.

Learn more about H-GAC's Texas Stream Team three-phase training program online . For more information, email or call 713-993-2410 .

On-Site Sewage System Education logo
On-Site Sewage System Homeowner Education Course - May 5, 19

H-GAC, in collaboration with the Galveston Bay Foundation and Texas AgriLife Extension, is offering two On-Site Sewage System Homeowner Education courses. 

The courses will be from 9 a.m. to noon on the following days:
  • Saturday, May 5, at Sam and Carmena Goss Memorial Branch Library, 1 John Hall Drive, Mont Belvieu. Registration is requested.
  • Saturday, May 19, at Bayou Vista MUD 12 Building, 2929 Highway 6, Suite 300, Bayou Vista. Registration is requested.
This course is designed to instruct and educate homeowners on the basics of conventional septic and aerobic systems maintenance and visual inspection. It does not provide for or allow homeowners to inspect their own aerobic system in place of a maintenance contract.

H-GAC has funding available for repair or replacement of failing systems. Restrictions apply. For more information, contact  Will Merrell .   

Parks and Natural Areas logo
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip - May 14 

Make plans to attend the  Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable spring field trip  from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, May 14, at Josey Lake Park-Bridgeland.
The field trip begins with a tour of the award-winning Josey Lake Park. The tour begins at the Boat House, 18908 Bridgeland Creek Parkway, Cypress, and ends with lunch at the park, provided by the Howard Hughes Corporation.
The field trip is free to attend; however,  registration is required by Wednesday, May 8, to ensure we have enough box lunches for everyone.

The Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable serves as a forum for discussion of parks and natural areas in the H-GAC region and is open to anyone who would like to participate. 

For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Clean Waters Initiative Logo
CWI Workshop - May 16

The next Clean Waters Initiative workshop will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, May 16, at H-GAC Conference Room B and C, Second Floor. 

The topic for this workshop is Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permits, including presentations on monitoring and collecting floatables, good housekeeping for permits, and more. 

 The CWI program offers workshops helping local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce water pollution.  

 Registration is requested. For more information, contact Kathy Janhsen at 713-993-2423.

Regional Recycling Roundtable - 
May 17

The Regional Recycling Roundtable will be from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, May 17, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

The roundtable topic for discussion is policy changes related to waste and recycling. The featured presenter is Maia Corbitt, Director of Governmental Affairs, Booth, Ahrens, & Werkenthin, P.C. There will also be industry updates on the Chinese recycling ban.
This roundtable series provides education/outreach to bring new ideas and knowledge to local governments, solid waste businesses, and interested residents on a wide range of recycling-related topics.
Registration  is requested.  For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

pile of debris in front of a home following a flood event
Long Term Debris Operations Workshop - May 24

Long Term Debris Operations, the second workshop in the  2018 Debris Workshop Series,  will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Thursday, May 24, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

During this workshop, participants will look beyond the first six months of debris management operations and examine aspects of recovery that could span a year or longer. 

Topics include:
  • Demolition
  • Debris removal from waterways
  • Getting extensions from FEMA for debris operations
  • Identification of mitigation opportunities
  • Documenting and applying lessons learned to improve future response to debris generating incidents
Register to attend in person, or register to attend via webinar. For more information, contact  Erin Livingston  at 713-993-2525 .

Interactive Planning Tools Seminar Series graphic
Interactive Planning Tools Seminar Series - May 24

H-GAC is hosting a series of seminars and hands-on workshops to instruct users on H-GAC's interactive web applications for community and transportation planning.

The third seminar will be from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday May 24, at H-GAC Training Room, Second Floor. The focus will be on Analyzing Regional Accessibility Using the Activity-Connectivity Explorer (ACE) Tool. Participants will learn to use the tool to:
  • Identify existing activity center(s) based on density and connectivity index using hexagonal grid system  
  • Interact Activity Population with Land Use, Public Transit and Amenities
  • Measure neighborhood accessibility to population, jobs, and amenities
  • Generate customized boundaries
Participants will have access to computers to participate in an interactive hands-on session to master the use of these online applications. Space is limited to 16 in-person attendees, and registration is required.  webinar option is also available.

For more information, e-mail .

Long Term Economic Recovery, Resilience Workshop

Save the date for a Long Term Economic Recovery and Resilience Workshop scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Friday, June 1, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

The focus of the workshop is to connect local governments and economic development organizations to the state and federal agency resources needed to spur long-term economic recovery and resilience post-Harvey. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is required. For more information, contact Joshua Owens at 832-681-2613.

Tires and other trash
85 Tons of Trash Removed from Waterways at 2018 Trash Bash

The 25th consecutive River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash was held on March 24. Volunteers collected more than 85 tons of trash at 14 locations, a 40 percent increase over the past two years and a nine-year high, due in large part to Hurricane Harvey. Nearly 3,600 volunteers gathered 356 tires and about a ton of recyclable materials, while cleaning 158.5 miles of shoreline.

Since 1994, more than 109,000 volunteers have cleaned up 2,274 tons of trash and 11,065 tires from waterways of the Galveston Bay watershed.

Save the date to join thousands of volunteers on Saturday, March 30, 2019, for the next Trash Bash. Learn more about Trash Bash.

education booth at an event
Coastal Communities Offers Education, Outreach

H-GAC offers a program to help small communities in coastal watersheds inform residents about steps they can take to reduce pollution in local waterways. The project complements existing watershed protection plans and bacteria reduction projects by supporting residential outreach and education. 

The four areas of emphasis are pet waste; fats, oils and grease; on-site sewage system maintenance; and litter/illegal dumping abatement. Services include written, web, and social media messaging; promotional give-away items; event booths; and community/school programs and presentations. For more information about getting involved in the Coastal Communities Program, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

H-GAC Announces Bike Month Activities, Resources

May is National Bike Month. Celebrations and opportunities to bike around the region are already being planned. H-GAC offers communities and event organizers resources for planning events across the region, including Bike to Work Day events. National Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 18. However, some organizations choose a different day that works best for their residents or employees. For example, H-GAC's Bike to Work Day is Thursday, May 17. More information is available online.

As the region's population increases, finding alternative ways to get to work is critical. In the Houston-Galveston region, 25 percent of residents live within 5 miles of their workplaces, an ideal distance for bicycling. Adults who regularly bicycle have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Bike Month is a great opportunity to explore biking to other destinations like coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, schools, and parks.

Partner Announcements
2018 EPA Region 6 Outstanding GI/LID Project Competition
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 6 is seeking abstracts for outstanding Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development projects to be highlighted at the EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference August 19-23 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Students and professionals are invited to submit abstracts by Monday, July 9. The call for project abstracts and competition rules are available online. For more information, contact Nichole Young at (214) 665-6447 or Suzanna Perea at (214) 665-7217.

Texas Main Street Designation Application
Texas Historical Commission Logo
The Texas Historical Commission is accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated  Main Street Communities . Each year, the Texas Historical Commission may select up to five cities for official Main Street Designation. Communities selected this year will enter the program in January 2019. Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development, using reuse of historic properties and historic preservation as primary tools. Full applications are due Tuesday, July 31. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.

STAR Summit Exhibitor, Sponsor Packets Available
State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) 2018 Summit exhibitor and sponsor packets are available for the annual conference set for October 28-31 in Galveston. Approximately 200 to 300 professionals representing private sector companies, government, academic institutions, nonprofit organizations, and trade associations attend the summit each year. The summit features educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, round table discussions, and training opportunities. Early exhibitor prices are good through Friday, June 15, and include discounted conference registrations. Various levels of sponsorships are available, and the deadline to guarantee sponsorship benefits is Wednesday, August 1.
More Upcoming Events
Great American Cleanup Registration
Great American Cleanup Logo
Registration continues for Keep Texas Beautiful's Great American Cleanup for events held through  Thursday, May 31. Groups planning an event can register to gain access to resources and materials for planning, promoting, and hosting the event, such as trash bags, banners, gloves, and giveaways.

Texas Natural Resources Information System 2018 GeoRodeo
Texas Natural Resources Information System logo
The Texas Natural Resources Information System 2018 GeoRodeo will be from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, May 4, at Commons Learning Center, J.J. Pickle Research Campus, 10100 Burnet Road, Austin. The GeoRodeo is a free, interactive, technical conference geared toward geodevelopers, coders, and professionals from across the state looking to incorporate new ideas and creative solutions into their work.

Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Workshop
Texas Water Resources Institute Logo
The Texas Water Resources Institute Urban Riparian and Stream Restoration Program will host a workshop for professionals interested in conducting stream restoration projects around the Houston area from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 15 in The Woodlands. Presenters include representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Dallas, Houston-Galveston Area Council, and the Harris County Flood Control District. Attendees must register by Friday, May 11, to Clare Entwistle at 210-277-2092 ext. 205 or at Texas A&M Marketplace. Registration is $100 and includes all training materials, lunch, and a certificate of completion. The workshop is limited to 40 people.

Exploration Green Wetlands Planting and Grand Opening
Exploration Green Logo
Volunteers are needed to plant native species in the shallow areas in the newest portion of the lake at Exploration Green Nature Park from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays,  May 5 and 19. This planting will provide habitat and help reduce runoff pollution. Parking is at 16203 Diana Lane, Houston. Children over 12 are welcome with their families. Tools will be provided. For more information and to RSVP, contact Mary Carol Edwards

Federal Highway Administration Bicycle Workshops
symbol of a bicycle
The Federal Highway Administration will host two Designing for Bicyclist Safety workshops in Houston in May.
Participants will learn why bicycle travel accommodations are included in the transportation network; understand key safety principles for bicyclists; and learn about design treatments, safety countermeasures, and the latest national guidance and best practices. Workshops are May 22 and 23 at Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne Street  Houston, and May 24 and 25 at Castillo Community Center, 2101 South Street  Houston . Workshops will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. More information, including registration, is available online.

Keep Texas Beautiful logo
Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
The  51st Annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference will be  June 11-13 in Georgetown. This three-day, multi-track format offers attendees a variety of education sessions and interactive forums. Presentations are designed for all levels of experience, and KTB looks for a wide variety of topics.
News and Notes
Houston Transtar logo
Houston TranStar's New Travel Smart with TranStar PSA

Houston TranStar is responsible for keeping motorists on the move and roadways clear. The newest Travel Smart public service announcement explains how to access the same real-time TranStar traffic information that first responders rely on.

Funding Sources
APA Foundation logo
APA Foundation Harvey Recovery Grants for Planners

The American Planning Association Foundation issued a Disaster Recovery Request for Proposals to help economically challenged and disaster-devastated communities affected by hazards such as floods, hurricanes, and wildfires.  Planners in communities affected by 2017 disasters are invited to apply for grants to assist them in efforts to help their communities recover.

More information, including details about eligibility, qualified activities, and other requirements is available online. Applications will be accepted through Monday, June 18, by email to

US Economic Development Administration logo
EDA Harvey Recovery Grants

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Austin regional office received $129,119,000 in supplemental funding for disaster relief and is actively seeking projects to help communities in the Houston-Galveston region recover from Hurricane Harvey. 

The recently released Notice of Funding Opportunity outlines the requirements, which include the following:
  • Projects require an 20 percent match, which can include in-kind
  • Typical projects will range from $1-$2.5 million
  • First round of 14-15 applications anticipated to be funded by September 2018, with 1 or 2 subsequent rounds of funding
  • Must demonstrate a nexus to Harvey, in terms of economic recovery or resilience
  • Eligible applicants include governments, nonprofits, and universities
For more information, contact Robert Peche of the EDA.

Tree with $ Money
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.
Community and Environmental Planning Programs
GIS Globes
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 to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.
find us on facebook
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, Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG), West Fork Watersheds Partnership, and  Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

Twitter Logo
Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed  @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region  @HGACwater.
Beach on Galveston Island. Photo by Becki Begley.

Would you like us to consider featuring your municipality, program, or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward Andrea Tantillo your picture, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter.