Keeping you up to date on the many community planning, economic development, and environmental planning programs going on at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Workshops, awards, a call for partners, funding opportunities, and more.
Upcoming Events
West Bernard Water Sampling Photo
NRAC to Meet August 4

The next meeting of the Houston-Galveston Area Council's Natural Resources Advisory Committee (NRAC), will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, August 4, in H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


Members will learn about the science and application of aquaponics, discuss H-GAC's draft Water Quality Management Plan Update for the FY16 project year, and hear updates from the Parks and Natural Area Subcommittee.

For more information, contact Justin Bower at 713-499-6653.  

Housing experiencing flooding
Storm Debris Workshop, Mitigating Your Hazards, Set for August 11

H-GAC's series of debris management workshops concludes with Mitigating Your Hazards, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, August 11, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

This workshop will look at identifying long-term strategies for risk reduction and cost-effective mitigation actions, and exploring the range of resources available to support mitigation activities.
Refreshments are sponsored by AshBritt Environmental.
There is no cost to attend this event, but space is limited and registration is required. Register to attend this event in person by contacting Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525. To attend via webinar, register online.

Recycling Bin
Regional Recycling Roundtable Set for September 8

The next Regional Recycling Roundtable will be Thursday, September 8, from 10 a.m. to noon at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.
Han Zhang, Ph.D, Sustainability and Advocacy Manager, The Dow Chemical Company, will discuss circular economy and its role in recycling. 
A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them while in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials.

H-GAC hosts quarterly Regional Recycling Roundtables to promote recycling and waste reduction and provide a forum for discussion about recycling issues within the region. To RSVP or be added to the list for notices of upcoming meetings, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Scouts at Trash Bash
Save the Date for Trash Bash® 

The 24th River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash® is Saturday, March 25, 2017.


Trash Bash® is made possible through generous contributions and support by sponsors. Check out Sponsorship Levels and Benefits to see how your organization can make a significant positive impact on local waterways.


More than 102,588 volunteers have collected nearly 2,137 tons of trash, 15 tons of recyclable materials, and 10,135 tires. Learn how to volunteer to help clean up waterways in the Galveston Bay watershed.  

More Upcoming Events

Bayou Preservation Association Symposium 
Bayou Preservation Association Logo
Save the date for the Bayou Preservation 50th Anniversary Symposium from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, October 12, at the United Way Community Resources Center, Houston. This year's keynote speaker will be Jenny Romer, the country's leading expert on plastic bag law and ordinance structures. Registration is now open, and sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Texas Compost Training 
Registration is now open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling's (STAR) Texas Compost Council Summit and Training September 26-28, at the Lone Star Convention and Expo Center, Conroe. This training is the leading educational and networking event for industrial composters in Texas.
STAR Recycling Conference 2016 Logo
STAR Recycling Summit 
Registration is now open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) 2016 Recycling Summit  October 16-18 at the Omni San Antonio Hotel at the Colonnade. Recycling professionals attend this event for educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, roundtable discussions, and training opportunities. 

Broadband Webinar Series  
BroadBandUSA logo
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) continues its series of monthly webinars to gather input on the Community Connectivity Initiative providing communities with self-assessment tools and information to better understand policies and programs supporting broadband internet connectivity. The second webinar in this series will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday, August 11.

IEDC 2016 Webinar Logo
IEDC Disaster Preparedness Webinars  
The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) will host the following free Disaster and Economic Recovery webinars: Securing Capital for Recovery and Redevelopment from 1:30 to 3 p.m.,Thursday, August 25; Building Resilience in Rural and Small Communities,Thursday, October 13; and Guiding Your Community Image and Brand Through Disasters, Saturday, December 10.
National Association of Development Organizations logo
NADO Conference  
Registration is open for the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) 2016 Annual Training Conference October 15-18 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio. Attendees will exchange ideas, learn from experts, participate in mobile workshops, and engage in conversations about ways to make a difference in their regions.
CATEE Conference 2016
CATEE Conference
The Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) 2016 Conference will be December 17-22 at the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk, San Antonio. Registration will open soon, and special room rates are now available. Opportunities for sponsorships for this educational conference and business exhibition are still available.         
Jeff Taebel
Jeff Taebel Named PAB 2016 Outstanding Site Visitor

Jeff Taebel, Director of Community and Environmental Planning at H-GAC, has been named a Planning Accreditation Board (PAB) 2016 Outstanding Site Visitor

Each year, PAB recognizes one planning educator and one planning practitioner for the contributions each has made to serving PAB's mission of ensuring high quality planning education for future urban planners. Mr. Taebel has served on six Site Visits since 2002. His knowledge of the PAB standards, work ethic and ability to effectively communicate with Site Visit Team members and planning programs have been a great asset to the PAB.

H-GAC and LID Map
Feedback Needed to Update LID Mapping Tool

H-GAC is looking to update our Designing for Impact Low Impact Development mapping tool. This tool highlights over 60 LID projects across the 13-county Houston-Galveston region. Users can simply click on a site on the map to learn more about the LID features and view photos of each project. If you know of any development projects using LID practices that are not currently mapped, please click here to provide information. For information, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie at 713-993-2468.  

Bicycles parked at Discovery Green in Houston.
H-GAC, Local Governments to Complete Pedestrian/Bicycle Study

Is your community interested in completing a pedestrian/bicycle plan? H-GAC coordinates Special Districts Studies in areas where there are significant opportunities to replace car trips with pedestrian and/or bicycle travel. These studies identify specific infrastructure improvements that can improve mobility for those walking and biking.


Later this month, H-GAC expects to release a call for planning study partners. Local governments will be invited to submit proposals to conduct pedestrian/ bicycle implementation studies within their jurisdictions.


For information, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Our Great Region Awards logo
H-GAC to Launch Our Great Region Awards

Does your organization have an outstanding local project for transportation, environment, economic development, resiliency, housing, or healthy communities? If so, consider applying for the new Our Great Region Awards.

Our Great Region Awards will recognize outstanding projects in the region that advance the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan. Plans, programs, projects or policies since January 1, 2013, that have furthered or implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county region will eligible to submit. Any organization may apply for the award(s).

More information will be released later this month, including an packet with specific award criteria. Award submissions will open in early September. Sign up here to be notified of updates.

Parks Awards Application Period Opens August 10


It's that time of year again! The H-GAC Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee (PNA) Awards applications will be accepted from Wednesday, August 10, to Wednesday, September 7.


PNA Awards honor projects in four categories: Projects $500,000 or more; Projects under $500,000; Planning Process; and Policy Tools. Winning entries demonstrate best practices and collaboration between developers, local governments, engineering and planning agencies, businesses, resources, environmental groups, and citizens. Entries are evaluated on innovation, merit, and regional impact. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region.


Winners will be notified in November, and the awards ceremony will be in January 2017. For more information, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie at 713-993-2468.

Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership Logo
Cedar Bayou Watershed Protection Plan Accepted by EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has accepted the Cedar Bayou Watershed Protection Plan (WPP). H-GAC and the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board facilitated a partnership of local stakeholders to develop the WPP to identify causes and sources of water quality issues in Cedar Bayou and recommend voluntary solutions to address them.

Solutions identified in the WPP include fixing malfunctioning septic systems, addressing pet waste, assisting agricultural producers with land improvement projects, maintaining riparian corridors, and education. The acceptance of the WPP by EPA is a major milestone toward improving water quality in Cedar Bayou. 

Partner Announcements

Artist Boat Bucket Beautification 
Artistboat logo
Artistic individuals, families, and groups are invited to participate in Artist Boat's Beautify the Bucket Competition and decorate trash receptacles for Galveston beaches. The competition is open through Friday, September 23.

STAR Leadership Awards 
Texas with Recycling symbol
The State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) is seeking nominations for the 2016 Texas Environmental Leadership Award. Applications are due Friday, August 5. Download the nomination packet for specific awards and criteria and submit a nomination online

Keep Houston Beautiful-Proud Partner Logo
Mayor's Proud Partner Awards 
Keep Houston Beautiful is now accepting applications for the 2016 Mayor's Proud Partners Awards. The award application is available online and entries are due by Monday, August 15. Examples of eligible entries include beautification and landscaping installations, neighborhood cleanups, environmental education programs, volunteer park improvements, and waste minimization efforts.  

TEEA Awards 
The TCEQ is now accepting applications for the 2017 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards.Share environmental success stories by applying for or nominating a project in one of nine award categories. View these categories and apply online. The deadline to submit is Friday, September 30. 

America Recycles Day logo
America Recycles Day Event Registration  
For almost two decades, communities have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles Day. Do you have plans for hosting a special event on that day? Register your event here.
Funding Sources
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 other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.
News and Notes
Call 2 Recycling Logo
Call2Recycle Helps Residents Find Drop-off Sites for Batteries

In Texas, 85% of all residents are within a 10-mile radius of a Call2Recycle free drop-off site.  Nationally, that accessibility rate is 87%. 


Municipal recycling programs can help increase recycling by consumers of rechargeable and household batteries accepted by linking their websites to the Call2Recycle drop-off site locator. The drop-off site locator is zip code based, uses Google maps, and includes information on hours of operation and types of batteries.  


For more, email Tim Warren

Keep Texas Beautiful logo
KTB Youth and Educator Award Winners

Congratulations to the following students, educators and groups in the H-GAC area recognized by Keep Texas Beautiful for their efforts to promote beautification, waste reduction, and litter prevention through environmental education and community activism.


Ruthe Jackson Youth Leadership Awards recognize the efforts and leadership of young people and youth-oriented organizations. First place recognitions receive profiles on KTB's website.

Sadie Ray Graff Educators and Educational Institution Awards recognize the efforts of educators and educational institutions who encourage youth involvement. First place recognitions receive profiles on KTB's website.         

  • Elizabeth Woodley, Friendswood - Educator, High School
  • Michael Chambers Bass, Alvin - Educator, District
  • Alamo Elementary School, Baytown - Elementary School

Cities Earn First-Time, Renewed Scenic City Certification

Four communities in the H-GAC region have been awarded new or recertified Scenic City Certification by the Scenic City Certification Program of Scenic Texas. They are El Campo, Pearland, Richmond, and Webster.

Using tools provided through the Scenic City Certification Program, Texas municipalities are able to assess the status of their scenic infrastructure standards, plan enhancement projects, and reap the economic benefits of good design, unique character, and livability. The Scenic City Certification Program defines optimal standards for a Texas city's scenic infrastructure. Cities apply for an objective evaluation of existing ordinances against this standard, then use the evaluation as a guide for future planning.  And through a points-based system recognizing detailed, clearly written, and enforceable ordinance language, applicant cities may earn one of five levels of certification.


The city of El Campo (Silver) and the city of Richmond (Bronze) received first-time certification for well-written street landscaping ordinances, codes that protected new and established trees, and clearly understandable and enforceable sign ordinances. The city of El Campo also exhibited an external level of care for the city through its strong Keep Texas Beautiful chapter, for its parks and trails system, and by offering clearly stated local graffiti and litter ordinances. The city of Richmond scored points for its emphasis on historical preservation, parking lot landscaping regulations, and unity of design standards.


The city of Pearland, first certified in 2010, recertified at the Gold level, and the city of Webster improved its certification level to Bronze, having earned Recognized status in 2014. Other cities in the region with Scenic City Certification include Friendswood, Houston, Magnolia, Missouri City, Nassau Bay, Seabrook, Sealy, Sugar Land and West University Place.


Cities can use Scenic City Certification as a tool to evaluate and strengthen their scenic standards. Applications for 2017 certification will be available online by Thursday, September 1, and can be submitted from January through March.

Focus On - Solid Waste Resources
Magnifying Glass

To best serve our communities, H-GAC maintains and promotes a clearinghouse of Municipal Solid Waste Information and Resources. These materials include educational resources that can be distributed to the public, as well as statutes and guidance local governments can use for planning. Information in the resource center can also be used by faculty and students researching and developing various school projects.


Guides and Statutes
H-GAC's Solid Waste Management Program provides a list of links to regional, state and federal solid waste management regulations, guidance, and statutes from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Texas Department of State Health Services, and Texas Demographic Center.

Disaster Debris Resources
H-GAC's Disaster Debris programs have compiled a list of disaster debris resources to assist local governments in preparing for and managing the effects of a disaster, including FEMA forms and guidance, Natural Resource Conservation Service publications, TCEQ and other state agency guidance and resources, and regional resources and publications.

Publications for Local Governments
Disaster Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation - Good planning can help minimize the impacts of disasters. Publications include guides for elected officials and first responders, an assessment of storm debris needs, and comprehensive planning tools identifying regional hazards and vulnerabilities.

Disaster Debris - H-GAC recognizes the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters and/or major storm events. Publications include plans and recommendations for emergency disaster debris management, an assessment of resources needed to develop coordinated debris management plans, and a guide for communities to use when creating disaster debris management plans.

Education and Outreach Materials

Solid Waste Publication Covers

Storm Debris Management - H-GAC has produced videos highlighting the proper way residents should handle debris after a disaster. These short videos are available for local governments and organizations to use to help educate residents. Local governments can link to the videos on YouTube or add their own logos and branding and use the videos on their websites, municipal channels, presentations, or other mediums. As part of this project, H-GAC developed a companion flyer in English and Spanish.

Recycling - H-GAC offers a printable 16-page activity book for children with fun and educational recycling-themed puzzles and activities. The book for second and third graders includes word search games, mazes, connect the dots, and coloring pages. The book for fourth and fifth graders includes word search games, mazes, math mashups, and secret code deciphering. Answer pages are included in both books.

Outdoor Burning - H-GAC has produced a general guide, in English and Spanish, to help the public burn safely and legally and determine if it is necessary to burn. 


Illegal Dumping - H-GAC offers a brochure with an overview of illegal dumping and how to report it. The brochure is printed in both English and Spanish.
For more information, contact Erin Livingston.
Community and Environmental Planning Programs
Bicycles parked at Discovery Green in Houston.
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services
H-GAC's Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program helps communities perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters, by having debris hauler contracts in place prior to events. The Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program offers access to a pool of the most qualified debris removal contractors, saves time and money associated with the procurement process, and helps maximize eligible FEMA reimbursement.

Walking in a cross walk
Temporary Pedestrian-
Bicyclist Counters
H-GAC has temporary pedestrian-bicyclist counters available for use by local governments to count the number of people using sidewalks and/or trails, giving implementing entities and H-GAC a better understanding of the demand and use of these facilities.

Illegal Dumping Camera Sharing
To help track and reduce illegal dumping, H-GAC offers surveillance cameras and accompanying accessories through a sharing program. Participation in the program is for local governments within the 13-county H-GAC region and involves specific agreements, including a commitment to only use the cameras for solid waste purposes and report results to H-GAC.

Community Enhancement Grants help municipalities, counties, and nonprofit organizations enhance public spaces, such as gateways, parks, waterfronts, and business districts.
H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department currently manages three loan programs: -the Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program, the Business Loan Fund, and the Government Loan Fund.

GIS Globes
Mapping Applications
Looking for interactive applications or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department, visit 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, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
Banner Photo - Food Truck Festival, Clear Lake Shores, Texas (photo by Marcus Tantillo) 
 Would you like for 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.  
Houston-Galveston Area Council, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
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