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June 2016 C and E Banner       
June 2016
In This Issue
2016 Basin Summary Report to be Released
Stream Team Training Set for June 3
Parks and Natural Areas Field Trip Rescheduled for June 13
Mitigating Your Hazards is Topic for Storm Debris Workshop
Focus On - Designing for Impact: A Regional Guide to Low Impact Development
Registration Now Open for LID Mobile Workshop
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money
Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Camera-Sharing Program to Help Combat Illegal Dumping
H-GAC Offers On-Site Sewage Facility Visual Inspection Training Course
Growing Green Workshop to Highlight Resources for Agriculture Producers
City of Houston Continues Work on Bike Plan Following Public Comments
Registration Open for Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
Webinars, In-Person Training to Address Solar in Texas
Community Efficiency Leaders Workshop to Focus on Water and Energy Best Practices
Application Period Now Open for Communities Seeking Texas Main Street Designation
Sponsor, Exhibitor Opportunities Available for Annual Recycling Summit
NADO Accepting Innovation Awards Applications
Funding Opportunities
Community and Environmental Planning
News and Notes
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List!
Meeting Information
Visit the H-GAC website for a list of upcoming meetings.

Disability SignIn compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, H-GAC will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities attending H-GAC functions. Requests should be received 24 hours prior to the function. Call the meeting organizer to make arrangements.

As part of our commitment to Going Green, Green WorldH-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department encourages meeting attendees to bring their own mug or cup to all meetings.
Banner Photo

East Beach, Galveston (photo by Andrew Pompei)


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


Forward your picture and information to Andrea Tantillo.

2016 Basin Summary Report to be Released

Canoe on water in front of trees H-GAC will release the 2016 Basin Summary Report (BSR) later this month. The report, completed every five years, is a comprehensive review of water quality data and issues in the H-GAC region. 


The report provides an overview of Clean Rivers Program activities and detailed data analysis and findings. The report also includes an explanation of current water quality conditions and trends, plus discussion of the following questions:

  • What are the water quality issues?
  • Why do the issues exist?
  • What are the possible effects?
  • What should be or what could be done about it?

Contact Paniz Miesen to be notified when the BSR is released.

H-GAC Stream Team Training Set for June 3

H-GAC Stream Team Coordinator Will Merrell The next H-GAC Stream Team training opportunity will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the San Jacinto River Authority Lake Conroe Campus, 1561 Dam Site Road.

The training consists of both classroom instruction and an afternoon field session. More than 120 local Stream Team volunteers collect water quality data on lakes, rivers, and streams in the 13-county H-GAC region.


For more information on this training and to be notified about upcoming trainings, contact Will Merrell at 713-993-4594.
Parks and Natural Areas Field Trip Rescheduled for June 13

2015 PNA Winner Universally Accessible PlaygroundThe Parks and Natural Areas Subcommittee of the Natural Resources Advisory Committee will visit five Sugar Land parks as part of the spring field trip beginning at 9 a.m. Monday, June 13. This field trip was originally scheduled in mid-May and was rescheduled due to inclement weather.


The field trip begins at the canoe/kayak launch area at the Brazos River, near U.S. 59 in Sugar Land. The parking area at the kayak launch will not be open, but parking is available curbside.  The next stop will be the Brazos River Park, followed by the Sugar Land Memorial Park and the Universally Accessible Playground. The tour will conclude at Cullinan Park.


All participants should provide their own transportation. For more information and to RSVP, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie.

Mitigating Your Hazards is Topic for Storm Debris Workshop

Housing experiencing flooding

H-GAC's series of debris management workshops concludes Thursday, June 16, with Mitigating Your Hazards. The workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

Mitigation and resiliency are hot national topics. Now is an important time for municipalities to identify strategies to reduce losses from natural hazards most likely to impact them.

This workshop will look at identifying long-term strategies for risk reduction, identifying cost-effective mitigation actions, and exploring the range of resources available to support mitigation activities. This workshop will include a guest speaker from the Texas Water Development Board.

Discussion points for this workshop include:

  • Flood Mitigation Projects
  • Buyouts
  • Elevations

AshBritt Logo Refreshments for this workshop 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.

Focus On -Designing for Impact: A Regional Guide to Low Impact Development
  Focus on LID

The Houston-Galveston region is forecast to grow by more than 3.5 million people by 2040. This growth will be followed by more development, leading to more paved surfaces and infrastructure that will alter natural drainage patterns and impact stormwater quality.


Mock up of LID Guide cover Low Impact Development (LID) is an alternative method of land development that captures and disperses stormwater as close to its source as possible. LID techniques are proven to decrease development and infrastructure expenditures, reduce operations and maintenance costs, and enhance stormwater quality.


The Houston-Galveston Area Council is pleased to announce the release of Designing for Impact: A Regional Guide to Low Impact Development. This guide explains LID functions, benefits, best management practices, and ways to overcome obstacles to implementation. 


The guide also looks at case studies showcasing successful LID projects from around the region and considers five hypothetical site plans comparing costs and environmental impacts of LID and conventional design.  


This guide is part of H-GAC's Designing for Impact project, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Gulf of Mexico Program, to promote and educate the public, designers, developers, and environmental stakeholders about LID benefits. H-GAC maintains an interactive mapping tool highlighting LID practices across the 13-county H-GAC region. Users can simply click on a site on the map to learn more about the features and benefits of the practices and see photos from the specific project. Anyone using the map can submit information about other LID projects not currently mapped. 

A digital copy of the Designing for Impact guide can be found on the H-GAC website. To request a printed copy, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie.

Registration Now Open for LID Mobile Workshop

Registration is now open for H-GAC's Designing for Impact: LID Mobile Workshop. The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 16. 

Participants will tour four LID projects in the region: Queenston Manor Apartments; City Houston Fire Station 90; Bagby Street; and Mandell Park. Transportation will be provided for the first 32 registered participants. All participants should meet at H-GAC by 8:30 a.m.

For more information, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie at 713-993-2468.

Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money

IKE Recognizing the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of debris generated by natural disasters, H-GAC has developed the Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Services Program. By having debris hauler contracts in place prior to events, cleanup can be quicker and less costly.

Procuring reputable and experienced firms can be challenging. H-GAC has already handled many of the procurement issues for local governments. 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.

To learn how to participate in the program, contact Cheryl Mergo at 713-993-4520.

As a reminder, hurricane evacuation maps, including zip zone evacuation, surge zone, and evacuation routes, can be found on the H-GAC website.

Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available

Walking in a cross walk 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.


For information about borrowing the counters, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.

Camera-Sharing Program Helps to Combat Illegal Dumping

Camera To help track and reduce illegal dumping, H-GAC offers surveillance cameras and accompanying accessories through a sharing program. The cameras can capture clear videos day or night, including license plates of cars traveling up to 50 mph.


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.


To allow easier access to local governments, ownership of the cameras has been transferred to Fort Bend, Galveston, and Walker counties. To access the cameras, borrow them from one of those three counties. 


For more information, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.
H-GAC Offers On-Site Sewage Facility Visual Inspection Training Course

On-Site Septic System H-GAC will host an on-site sewage facility (OSSF) Visual Inspection Training for home inspectors from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 16, at the Brazoria County AgriLife Extension Offices, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton.


Participants will learn how to identify failing OSSFs through visual inspection and will receive six continuing education hours from the Texas Real Estate Commission.

There are hundreds of thousands of OSSFs in the H-GAC region, and many of them are failing. Repair and replacement of a system can be expensive, and often home inspectors choose not to inspect OSSFs. However, with the proper knowledge and instruction, a home inspector can save homebuyers the cost of repair or replacement and increase the scope of services provided during inspection.

Interested homeowners are also encouraged to attend to learn more about their systems.


The one-day course is free, but registration is required.


For more information, contact Paniz Miesen at 832-681-2523.

Growing Green Workshop to Highlight Resources for Agriculture Producers
Tractor in a field
To help agriculture producers learn more about which agencies can help maximize production and improve property, H-GAC will host a Growing Green workshop from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 23, at the Brazoria County AgriLife Extension Offices, 21017 County Road 171, Angleton. 

This free, half-day workshop will give landowners the opportunity to meet with representatives from state and local agricultural groups and hear about financial and technical assistance programs they may qualify for. Registration is required.

For more information, contact Paniz Miesen at 832-681-2523.
City of Houston Continues Work on Bike Plan Following Public Comments
Houston Bike Plan Logo

The City of Houston Bike Plan team is finalizing chapter materials based on public and stakeholder comments received on the draft Bicycle Master Plan. This includes development of five pilot projects, development of a bayou access plan, and refining the Neighborhood Level Bicycle Plan for Gulfton/Sharpstown.


Information and updates about public hearing dates and the public hearing process will be posted on houstonbikeplan.org.

Registration Open for Keep Texas Beautiful Conference
Keep Texas Beautiful 2016 Annual Conference Logo


Registration continues for the Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference June 20-22 in Sugar Land. 

The three-day event will feature 35 educational sessions on topics including recycling, youth programs, litter prevention, board development, fundraising, and strategic planning.  

Webinars, In-Person Training to Address Solar in Texas
Go Solar Texas logoGo Solar, along with the State Energy Conservation Office and the North Central Texas Council of Governments, is offering free solar trainings across the state and through webinars this summer.

  • Financing Solar in Texas webinar is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, June 3.
    This webinar will discuss options for financing solar in Texas relevant to homeowners, local governments, academic institutions, and small businesses. Topics will include funding opportunities, cooperative purchasing programs, and installation information. More information, including sign up instructions, is available online. Upcoming webinars include Community Solar in Texas (Friday, July 8) and Putting Underutilized Land to Work for Solar (Wednesday, July 27). 
In-Person Trainings

Four in-person trainings will be held in Houston June 20 and 21. All trainings will be at The Council on Recovery, 3030 Jackson Street, Houston.
  • Solar PV Fire Inspector Training & Fire Code Compliance Training will be from 8 a.m. to noon Monday, June 20. Fire Inspectors will learn about applicable fire codes and methods for implementing code requirements in residential and commercial photovoltaic (PV) systems.

  • Solar for Local Governments will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday, June 20. Participants will get a fundamental understanding of residential and commercial PV systems and basic mechanical and physical characteristics of solar panels.

  • Solar PV for Real Estate Professionals will be from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, June 21. Brokers, agents, and appraisers will learn methods for appraising and selling homes with solar.

  • Financing Solar Energy Systems will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 21. This workshop will bring together commercial and multi-family property owners and lenders to discuss available rebates and tax credits for purchasing solar energy systems.
Community Efficiency Leaders Workshop to Focus on Water and Energy Best Practices

Houston Advanced Research Center logoThe Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) and the State Energy Conservation Office will present a workshop on energy and water efficiency from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 21, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

Topics for this workshop include:

  • Purple Pipe in Communities - Reducing water consumption and energy use through reclaimed water
  • Strategic Energy Management - Focusing on low cost efforts with big impacts
  • Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing - Considering a new economic development tool for cities

The workshop is free, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Gavin Dillingham.

Application Period Now Open for Communities Seeking Texas Main Street Designation
Texas Historical Commission Logo

The Texas Historical Commission is now accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated Main Street communities.
The 2017 Main Street application period is now open. 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 2017.


Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development, reusing historic properties, and historic preservation as primary tools.


Applications are due Friday, July 29. More information, including application form, is available online.


Applications to become a designed Main Street community are accepted once each year. There are currently 87 officially designed Main Street communities in Texas, including four in the region: Bay City, Huntsville, Rosenberg, and Sealy.

Sponsor, Exhibitor Opportunities Available for Annual Recycling Summit

STAR Recycling Conference 2016 LogoThe 2016 State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Recycling Summit is seeking sponsors and exhibitors. The event will be October 16-18 in San Antonio.

This is the only state conference dedicated entirely to recycling and waste diversion activities in Texas. Sponsors and exhibitors have the chance to get their message in front of recycling leaders from across the state.

Approximately 200 to 250 recycling professionals attend this event for educational sessions, equipment demonstrations, roundtable discussions, and training opportunities. A preliminary schedule is available.

NADO Accepting Innovation Awards Applications

NADO Innovations 2016 LogoEach year, the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) recognizes member organizations that demonstrate innovative approaches to regional economic and community development through the Innovation Awards program. Over 1,500 NADO member projects have been recognized since 1986 for their creative efforts in advancing regional economic development and improving quality of life. 

Previous award-winning projects have showcased innovative efforts in a variety of program areas including business and economic development, community health initiatives, emergency planning, brownfields, sustainability, technology, transportation, and workforce development. Innovation winners have successfully leveraged their awards to bring additional resources to their regions and better explain to their various audiences the important work they do.

The deadline to apply is Friday, July 1.

For more information, contact Brett Schwartz or Laurie Thompson

fundingFunding Opportunities
Tree with $ Money
FTA Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment grant seeks projects to develop model deployment sites for large scale installation and operation of advanced transportation technologies to improve safety, efficiency, system performance, and infrastructure return on investment. Applications are due Friday, June 3.
TSSWCB Clean Water Act Section 319(h) Grants
The Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board (TSSWCB) is accepting applications for watershed assessment, planning, implementation, demonstration and education projects seeking funding under the FY2017 Clean Water Act ยง319(h) Nonpoint Source Grant Program. Proposed projects should focus on agricultural and/or silvicultural nonpoint source pollution prevention and abatement activities within the boundaries of impaired or threatened watersheds. Applications are due by Friday, June 3.
USDA Community Connect Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications through its Community Connect Program which helps fund broadband internet in rural communities where it is not economically viable for private sector providers to offer service. USDA plans to award up to $11.7 million in grants nationwide with a minimum grant amount of $100,000 and a maximum award of $3 million. Applications are due by Friday, June 17.
TDA 2016 Small Towns Environmental Program (STEP) Fund
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) will accept STEP Fund letters of interest and applications throughout the year until all available funds are obligated. Dates for the final round of assessment, application, and funding for letters of interest received under the 2015 Action Plan can be found on the TDA website.

EDA Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is accepting grant applications to provide investments that support construction, nonconstruction, technical assistance, and revolving loan fund projects under EDA's Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Grants and cooperative agreements made under these programs are designed to leverage existing regional assets and support the implementation of economic development strategies that advance new ideas and creative approaches to forward economic prosperity in distressed communities. There are no submission deadlines under this opportunity. Proposals and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until the publication of a new funding opportunity notice.
Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grants
Advocacy Advance Rapid Response Grants help state and local organizations take advantage of unexpected opportunities to win, increase, or preserve funding for biking and walking. Detailed guidelines, criteria, and application requirements are available onlineRapid Response Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.
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.

If you know of a funding opportunity, forward it to Andrea Tantillo.
Community and Environmental Planning
Grant Programs
H-GAC's Community Enhancement Grants are designed to help municipalities, counties, and non-profit organizations enhance public spaces, such as gateways, parks, waterfronts, and business districts.
Loan Programs 
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.

H-GALDC logo The SBA 504 Loan Program provides long-term business expansion financing for real estate, construction, and equipment purchases. Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District Logo  

The Business Loan Fund assists small businesses in the Houston-Galveston region.

The Government Loan Fund assists local governments and school districts in the Houston-Galveston region. 

Anyone interested in getting more information or applying for a loan should contact loans@h-gac.com.

Mapping Applications and GIS Data
GIS GlobesIf you are looking for maps, mapping applications, or GIS data related to the H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department, visit www.h-gac.com/go/cegis to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more. Map Book provides maps in several formats for printing. Mobile applications are available.

find us on facebookH-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 Watershed Partnership, and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

Twitter LogoFind 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.
News and Notes

News IconDEA Collects Record-Setting Amount at Latest National Rx Take-Back Day

Sugar Land Purchases Old Prison Grounds

Are Houston's Sinking Suburbs Suffering Worse Flooding?

5 Breakthroughs That Would Transform Clean Energy

Dutch Designer Upcycles Abandoned Shopping Carts Into Luxury Sofas, Chairs

Andrea Tantillo, Communications Specialist
Houston-Galveston Area Council
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