Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Workshops, awards, training, funding sources, and more.
Our Great Region Awards logo
Deadline for 2017 Our Great Region Awards is Today

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


Our Great Region Awards 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, 2014, that have furthered or implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county region are eligible to submit. Any organization may apply for the award(s).


Application information is available online at Our Great Region Awards. The deadline to apply is TODAY, Tuesday, August 1.

Parks Awards Winners Collage
H-GAC Accepting Applications for Parks and Natural Areas Awards

H-GAC Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Awards applications will be accepted through Thursday, 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 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 2018. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.
Upcoming Events
montgomery county recycling drop off facility
H-GAC Solid Waste Funding Plan Public Meeting - August 9

H-GAC will host a public meeting from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor, to discuss the FY 2017--18 Solid Waste Management Funding Plan.

Each biennium, regional councils of government across the state (including H-GAC) are required by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to develop and present funding plans for their solid waste grant programs.

The purpose of the plan is to provide information on grant funds for the new funding cycle to all eligible entities of implementation project grant funding, interested private industry representatives, and  interested members of the public.

For the 2017--18 biennium, H-GAC will award $1.2 million in implementation project grants to local governments. The request for grant applications will be released Thursday, September 14. 

For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Basin 11 Map 2017
Basin 11 Bacteria Reduction Project Meeting - August 10

H-GAC is looking for stakeholders to help share their knowledge of local waterways to develop a plan to reduce bacteria levels in the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin, also known as Basin 11. Using basin characterization report data and other input, local stakeholders will work to create a plan to identify and address bacteria impairments across the basin, including watershed management tools and options available to residents, businesses, and governments to reduce the impairments.
H-GAC will host a meeting to provide updates and discuss next steps from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, August 10, at the Brazoria County Public Library-Alvin Branch, 105 S. Gordon Street, Alvin. 

Registration is not required.
For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

tires dumped in a wooded area

Local Environmental Enforcement Classes - August 22-23

H-GAC will host two local enforcement classes this month.


Environmental Enforcement after the 85th Texas Legislature will be Tuesday, August 22. This class will cover the changes the 85th Legislature made to Texas laws used to control pollution.


Ethics of Local Environmental Enforcement will be Wednesday, August 23. This class deals with ethical situations that arise in local enforcement.


Both classes will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. John Ockels, Ph.D., director of the Texas Illegal Dumping Resource Center, is the instructor.


The classes are free, but registration is required. Register for Environmental Enforcement after the 85th Texas Legislature. Register for Ethics of Local Environmental Enforcement.


For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Construction Demolition.
Photo courtesy of Cherry Demolition
Regional Recycling Roundtable - August 24    

H-GAC will host a Regional Recycling Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon, Thursday, August 24, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. The topic will be "Managing Construction and Demolition Debris in the Circular Economy." Presenters will focus on concrete, lumber, and metal recycling, and deconstruction. 

The roundtable is open to businesses, governments, organizations, and residents interested in learning more about recycling. 

Registration is requested.
For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

Texas Stream Team volunteer testing a water sample with a syringe
Texas Stream Team Training - August 26

Volunteers are needed to collect water quality information from local waterways as part of the Texas Stream Team statewide network.   

A Texas Stream Team Certified Water Monitor Phase 1 and 2 Training will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, August 26, at the Houston Advanced Research Center, 8801 Gosling Road, The Woodlands. Registration is required, and class size is limited. This training is sponsored by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department in cooperation with H-GAC. 

For more information, contact Teri MacArthur at 281-210-3928. 

Learn more about the H-GAC Texas Stream Team volunteer water quality monitoring program.

Clean Waters Initiative Logo
CWI Workshop to Address Freshwater Inflows - August 29

The next Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, August 29, at H-GAC Conference Rooms B and C, Second Floor. The topic will be freshwater inflows.

Speakers from the Texas Water Development BoardTexas A&M---Galveston, and Trinity River Authority will provide participants with greater understanding of the function and importance of freshwater inflows, as well as updates on their respective research, projects, and local needs. 


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

Hurricane Ike - Debris Pile, Bolivar Peninsula, Galveston County
Series of Disaster Debris Workshops Concludes - August 31

To address the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of disaster debris, H-GAC provides training and resources to help local governments prepare.
The 2017 Disaster Debris Workshop Series concludes with Summer Update from FEMA, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, August 31, at H-GAC Conference Rooms B and C, Second Floor.
Discussion points for this workshop include:  
  • FEMA Annual Update - Policy changes and how they impact debris operations.
  • State Update - New policy changes and tips for coordinating with state agencies for debris operations.
Registration is requested. The workshop is also available via webinar
For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Instant Impact Workshop Logo
Instant Impact: A Land Use Planning Workshop - September 29

H-GAC will host Instant Impact: A Land Use Planning Workshop from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, September 29, at the White Oak Conference Center, 7603 Antoine Drive, Houston.

The workshop will cover the uses and benefits of Instant Impact projects, a way to use inexpensive and quick techniques to build public interest and excitement for walkable, vibrant places in a community. Participants will hear from experts and practitioners who have used Instant Impact tools during and after the planning process to move projects forward, including some highlighted in H-GAC's Instant Impact Guide: Temporary, Cost Effective Ideas for More Vibrant Streets.

Workshop topics and speakers include:
  • Uses & Benefits of Instant Impact,  Layne Ferguson, Team Better Block
  • Instant Impact in Small Towns,  Christof Spieler, Huitt-Zollars 
  • Instant Impact through Partnerships,  Alex Miller and Luis Guajardo, Asakura Robinson
Online registration is required.

For more information, contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513.

Save the Date text
Annual Fall Planning Workshop - October 20

H-GAC's Fall Planning Workshop for Local Governments will be from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, October 20, at H-GAC.

This annual half-day workshop series for local governments features presentations on best planning practices for communities.

This year's workshop will focus on implementation. Discussion points will include:

  • How do you keep your plan off the shelf?
  • How do you pay for it?
  • How do you do it?

Registration will open in the fall.  


To be added to the list to receive more information, contact Amanda Thorin at 713-993-4587.

Two cute girls with trash bags at Trash Bash.
Save the Date for the 25th Trash Bash - March 24, 2018

Every year, thousands of volunteers gather to clean up trash and debris along area waterways by participating in the largest, single-day waterway cleanup in Texas, the River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash.

Trash Bash will celebrate its 25th consecutive cleanup on Saturday, March 24, 2018---an accomplishment that dedicated volunteers have been proud to be part of for more than two decades.

Learn more about becoming a volunteer or sponsor for Trash Bash 2018.

Partner Announcements
TCEQ Public Comment for Jarbo Bayou Plan
TCEQ logo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is seeking public comment on the draft One Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for Indicator Bacteria in Jarbo Bayou. The TCEQ is also requesting feedback on the decision to add the Galveston County waterbody to the existing bacteria reduction implementation efforts of an approved, adjacent Implementation Plan. Written comments should be submitted to Lauren Oertel, Water Quality Planning Division, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, MC 203, P. O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas, 78711-3087 or faxed to 512- 239-1414. Comments may be submitted electronically by midnight Monday, August 21, and should reference the One Total Maximum Daily Load for Indicator Bacteria in Jarbo Bayou. For more information, contact Lauren Oertel at 512-239-3604.

Texas Environmental Leadership Awards

The Texas Environmental Leadership Awards recognize individuals, communities, organizations, and businesses developing and maintaining programs involving recycling, composting, sustainable materials management, public education and outreach, and special event recycling. The complete awards nomination packet with specific awards and criteria is available. Applications are due Monday, August 14. Award winners will be honored as part of the Texas Recycling Summit on the evening of Tuesday, October 24.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Environmental Excellence Awards
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is 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 29.
More Upcoming Events
Resilient Texas: Planning for Sea-Level Rise Workshop
Sea Grant Texas logo
Texas Sea Grant presents Resilient Texas: Planning for Sea-Level Rise, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 8, at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, 750 Channel View Drive, Port Aransas. The goal of this free workshop is to help participants understand sea-level rise, investigate how to interpret sea-level rise data, and discuss ideas on how to work across levels of government and industry to help build resilient communities. Registration is required.

Greens Bayou Master Plan Public Meeting
Greens Bayou Coalition logo
The public is invited to offer comment on the Greens Bayou Master Plan project at a kick off meeting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, August 9, at Hines Conference Center, 12190 Greenspoint Drive, Houston. Refreshments and activities will be provided. For more information, call 281-874-2142.

Engaging the Campus to Improve Recycling Participation Webinar
The College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC) 2017 Webinar Series continues with Engaging the Campus to Improve Recycling Participation from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, August 10.  The CURC Webinar series is designed to share technical knowledge between program managers, student interns and others involved with promoting waste reduction on college campuses. Scheduled on the second Thursday every other month, CURC webinars cover a range of topics related to sustainable materials management, such as material collections and processing, education, and promotion and procurement. Registration is required.

Texas Citizen Planner Specialty Courses
Texas Citizen Planner logo
TexasAgriLife Extension Service will present two single-day Texas Citizen Planner specialty courses to emphasize integrating hazard mitigation approaches with local planning practices. The Hazard Mitigation and Plan Integration course will be Tuesday, August 15, at Houston Transtar, 6922 Katy Road, Houston; and the Flooding and Stormwater course will be Tuesday, September 12, at Trini Mendenhall Community Center, 1414 Wirt Road, Houston. Both courses will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The cost is $75 per course, and lunch is provided. Registration is required. For information, contact Steven Mikulencak or Celina Gauthier Lowry at 281-560-3970.

Disaster Preparedness and Economic Recovery Webinar Series
IEDC 2017 Webinar Series Logo
The International Economic Development Council provides a free Disaster Preparedness and Economic Recovery webinar series each year focusing on practical information on key topics for economic development professionals and chambers of commerce. The next webinar will be Leveraging Transportation Routes for New Opportunities in Rural Areas from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, August 15. This webinar will examine how to get the most out of transportation assets to grow an industrial base. Upcoming workshops are Reinvigorating Downtown: Strategies to Drive Traffic Post-Disaster, Thursday, August 24; and Retail Boomtowns: Creating an Atmosphere for Retail AttractionThursday, September 14.

CEC logo
Greater Houston Environmental Summit
Register for the Citizens' Environmental Coalition (CEC) annual Greater Houston Environmental Summit from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, August 4, at the United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston. The summit will include keynote presentations, small-format table talks, and a featured panel in conjunction with EarthShare of Texas. The CEC is also partnering with environmental education collaboratives to offer an Environmental Education Expo for teachers and informal educators.

EPA Region 6 19th Annual Stormwater Conference
EPA Logo
Registration continues for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 19th annual Stormwater Conference September 17-21 at the Hilton Palacio del Rio, 200 South Alamo Street, San Antonio. Stormwater professionals will learn about stormwater management programs, construction and industrial stormwater management, low impact development, and advanced research topics. 

Annual STAR Texas Recycling Summit
Registration is now open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Texas Recycling Summit 2017 October 22-25 at the Double Tree Hotel, 6505 N I-35, Austin. This is the only state conference dedicated entirely to recycling and waste diversion activities in Texas. It's also an opportunity to network with professionals from the recycling industry to learn, collaborate, share successes, and support recycling efforts.
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 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, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.
Banner Photo: The Houston skyline as seen from the Montrose neighborhood, looking east toward downtown.
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.  
Houston-Galveston Area Council, PO Box 22777, Houston, TX 77227-2777
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