Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Upcoming Events
U.S. Census PSAP Workshop - October 15

H-GAC is the official liaison for the United States Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) for the 13-county H-GAC planning region. As part of the PSAP, the U.S. Census Bureau requires re-establishing boundaries based on population growth or loss at the Census Tract and Census Block Group levels with every decennial census count. 

H-GAC staff will host a series of workshops to engage stakeholders in open dialog about the process for re-establishing boundaries. The workshops are designed for individuals at the county and local levels who use census data for planning purposes and demographic data users who base research and policy decisions on Census Tracts, Block Groups, or Census Designated Places. 

The workshops are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

PSAP Workshop 2
Monday, October 15
9 a.m. - noon
H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor
 Registration Information

The first workshop, held on September 12, drew more than 50 attendees. The second workshop will follow up on discussion and examples brought forward at the first workshop and will feature demonstrations of Census Tract and Block Group splits in GIS. 

For more information on the workshops, contact Brooks Andrews at 713-993-4519.

BIG logo
BIG Fall Meeting - October 23

The Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Fall Meeting will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, October 23, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

Topics will include the 2018 annual report, BIG Implementation Plan (I-Plan) revisions, and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) updates.

RSVP is requested. For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

Bringing Back Main Street Logo
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - October 23

Save the date for H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, October 23, at the Humble Civic Center at 8233 Will Clayton Parkway, Humble. Speakers will discuss wayfinding, signage, and downtown branding. 

H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas.

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Joey Kaspar at 713-993-4547.

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Clean Water Initiative Workshop - October 24

H-GAC's Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) program offers workshops that help local governments, landowners, and residents develop effective strategies to reduce pollution in area waterways. 

The series resumes from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, October 24, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. 

For information or to register, contact Brian Sims at 713-993-2438 or visit the CWI webpage.

Basin 13 Map
Caney Creek TMDL Stakeholder Meeting - November 1

As part of the Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin bacteria reduction project focusing on Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou, H-GAC will host a public stakeholder meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at the Bay City Civic Center, 207 7th Street, Bay City. 

The meeting will consist of presentations, followed by an open house-style discussion period. Participation of local leaders and residents is crucial for implementation of these projects.

Topics for each meeting include:
  • presentation of the technical support document for Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou;
  • options for developing a bacteria reduction plan for the basin; and
  • continued identification of stakeholders to participate on a coordination committee to guide this effort.
Agencies are invited to set up an informational table for stakeholders. 

To RVSP to attend or reserve a table, please contact Steven Johnston or 832-681-2579.  

Coastal Communities Logo
Coastal Stormwater Quality Education Workgroup - November 7

H-GAC will host the first Coastal Stormwater Quality Education Workgroup meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, November 7, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

The purpose of this new workgroup is to bring together education and outreach partners and staff from local governments, water-quality nonprofit organizations, drainage and utility districts, MUDs, HOAs, schools, civic groups, and interested residents to facilitate comprehensive coordination and implementation of stormwater quality education and outreach in coastal communities in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, and Matagorda counties.

This agenda for this meeting includes visioning and goal setting for 2019, identification and coordination of outreach opportunities, and networking opportunities. For more information about this workgroup and to RSVP, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

Learn more about the Coastal Communities project.

Parks and Natural Areas logo
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip - November 8

H-GAC's next Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Roundtable field trip will be Thursday, November 8, with a tour of three parks in Sugar Land. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. at Sugar Land Memorial Park and continues to Smart Financial Center Plaza and Brazos River Park. Sugar Land Memorial Park is at 15300 University Blvd., Sugar Land. We will meet at the pavilion near the lake and playground.

Transportation from H-GAC at 8:45 a.m. can be provided for up to 20 registrants.

The PNA Roundtable's mission is to assist in the development of public policy initiatives to expand parks and natural areas in the 13-county H-GAC region for the improved quality of life, habitat, and water quality. This group meets in a roundtable format, does not consist of a formal board, and is open to anyone interested in participating.

Online registration is requested. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Basin 11 Map 2017
Oyster Creek TMDL Stakeholder Meetings - November 8

As part of the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin bacteria reduction project focusing on Oyster Creek,  H-GAC will host a public stakeholder meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 8, at the Brazoria County Library-Lake Jackson Branch, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson. 

This meeting will consist of presentations, followed by an open house-style discussion period. Participation of local leaders and residents is crucial for implementation of these projects.

Topics for each meeting include:
  • presentation of the technical support document for Oyster Creek;
  • options for developing a bacteria reduction plan for the basin; and
  • identification of stakeholders to participate on a coordination committee to guide this effort.
Agencies are invited to set up an informational table for stakeholders. 

To RVSP to attend or reserve a table, please contact Steven Johnston or 832-681-2579.  

Save the Date text
Fall Planning Workshop - November 9

Mark your calendars for the annual Fall Planning Workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, November 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

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

This year's workshop, Planning at the Edge, invites participants to join in discussion with local cities and counties,especially unincorporated areas, experiencing growth and development. This workshop will focus on common issues, challenges, and potential management solutions.

For more information, e-mail

pile of compost
Regional Recycling Roundtable - November 15

H-GAC's next Regional Recycling Roundtable will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, November 15, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. 

The topic will be composting as a recycling strategy. Presentations will include an update on commercial composting, an overview of the master composter program, and local municipal case studies.

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.

League of American Bicyclists logo
League Cycling Instructor Training - November 30 - December 2

The League of American Bicyclists is conducting a League Cycling Instructor training at the Houston-Galveston Area Council offices, Conference Room B, Second Floor from Friday, November 30, to Sunday, December 2. 

The training certifies instructors to teach Smart Cycling classes to children and adults to help them become more confident, safe, and intelligent cyclists. 

To register and find more information about the process for obtaining certification, visit the League of American Bicyclists website or contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513. Space is limited.

young boy picking up trash at Trash Bash
Trash Bash - March 30, 2019

What is Trash Bash®? This video recognizing Trash Bash®'s 2018 Texas Environmental Excellence Award illustrates the mission of the event.

Join the thousands of volunteers who gather to clean up trash and debris along area waterways every year. With locations across the Galveston Bay watershed, there's a cleanup location near home, work, or school. 

An educational area offers opportunities to learn more about protecting water quality. Participating in Trash Bash® is free. Supplies, t-shirts, lunch, and door prizes are provided. Scouts and students are encouraged to participate at this family-friendly event.

Learn more about becoming a volunteer or sponsor for Trash Bash® 2019.

test-our great region awards
2018 Our Great Region Award Application Opens October 15

The Our Great Region Awards 2040 recognize outstanding projects in the region advancing the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan
The application opens Monday, October 15, and closes Tuesday, November 16. Plans, programs, projects or policies that implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county H-GAC planning region in the past four years are eligible for submission. 

More information is available in the 2018 application guide or by contacting Amy Combs

Installing an OSSF
H-GAC Wastewater Assistance Program Helps Homeowners

H-GAC's Wastewater Assistance Program offers funding for the repair or replacement of conventional septic or aerobic wastewater systems in the 13-county H-GAC planning region. Homeowners who meet certain income restrictions are eligible.

"I am glad to know that there are people and organizations that help their citizens and people in these situations" said a recent recipient of a new system in the Cedar Bayou area. "You make a huge difference in people's lives."

For more information, contact Brian Sims at 713-993-2438 or learn more about maintaining these systems online.

AirCheck Logo
Financial Assistance Available Through Air Check Texas

The AirCheck Texas - Drive a Clean Machine Program is designed to help motorists in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Harris, Galveston, and Montgomery counties comply with vehicle emissions standards. 

AirCheck Texas offers financial incentives to repair or replace currently driven vehicles. An applicant will receive both a financial and environmental benefit while contributing to air quality solutions by removing older, vehicles from Texas roadways. 

For more information, visit or call 832-681-2527.

Partner Announcements
Recycle Bowl Registration  
Recycle Bowl Logo
Keep America Beautiful presents Recycle Bowl, a national K-12 competition between schools to invigorate student participation in recycling efforts. The competition runs from October 15 to November 15but registration is open now. There are both competitive and non-competitive divisions for this program.

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.

Take Care of Texas Video Contest
Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) invites students in 6th through 12th grades to enter the annual Take Care of Texas Video Contest. Student videos should be 30 seconds long and portray positive ways Texans can help keep air and water clean, conserve water and energy, or reduce waste. The contest deadline is Friday, December 14, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 10--24, 2019. The middle and high school students who win first place will be invited to travel to Austin, along with their teacher, parent, or guardian, to be recognized by the TCEQ and Waste Management of Texas, Inc., at the 2019 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.
More Upcoming Events
America Walks Webinars 
America Walks Logo
America Walks is hosting free monthly webinars at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month. These webinars look to expand knowledge, highlight success stories, and share new tools and resources. Registration is required. Upcoming webinars include Walk Into Action: Walking and Walkability Policy Issues, October 10; Where Do We Go Next? Mapping and Tracking in the Future, November 14; and On a Sustainable Path: The Role of Walkability in Addressing Climate Change, December 12.

American Planning Association Texas Chapter State Conference
Texas APA logo
American Planning Association Texas Chapter State Conference will be October 17-19 at the Galveston Island Convention Center. Plans are underway for the 2018 State Planning Conference and Short Course, including  mobile workshops, plenary and luncheon speakers, and social events.  he Short Course offers training for Planning commissioners and elected officials. Planning Award recipients will be recognized at the Friday Awards Luncheon. AICP members have the opportunity to receive up to 16 hours of Certification Maintenance credits during the conference.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Wednesday Webinars 
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Logo
The  Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) is hosting a Wednesday Webinar series at 2 p.m. the last Wednesday of every other month. Join to learn about resources and projects from around the Gulf. Preregistration is not required. The final webinar in the series will be Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Detection (Kate Hubbard), November 28. 

NADO conference logo
National Association of Development Organizations Conference
Registration is open for the National Association of Development Organization's (NADO) 2018 Annual Training Conference, Investing in the Future of Regional Development on October 13-16 in Charlotte, NC. The conference will be four days of interactive learning, networking with peers, thought-provoking plenary sessions, hands-on learning labs and workshops, mobile workshops, and more.   

Drug Enforcement Agency National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
DEA National Drug Take Back Logo
The Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) 
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 27. Check the DEA website in early October for area drop-off locations. The collection event provides a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications and environmental contamination. Law enforcement agencies interested in hosting a collection site should call the point of contact for this area.

STAR Texas Recycling Summit
STAR Summit 2018 logo - shaped like a sand dollar - words STAR Texas Recycling Summit - Galveston October 28-31 2018
Registration is now open for the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Texas Recycling Summit 2018 October 28-31 at Moody Gardens, 7 Hope Boulevard, Galveston. 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.

Tools and Techniques for Resiliency and Strategic Planning 
EFCN logo
The Environmental Finance Center Network is hosting Tools and Techniques for Resiliency and Strategic Planning, an interactive workshop, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 29, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor. Now more than ever, water utilities must learn to be resilient in the face of an uncertain future. This workshop will provide tools to help identify risks and recognize opportunities to manage and plan for impacts. Techniques will also be shared to gather community and leadership support for resiliency initiatives.

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Master Gardeners Composter Training
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service logo
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Fort Bend County Master Gardeners Association are hosting a three-day composter specialist event from 10 a.m. to noon December 5-7 at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1402 Band Road, Suite 100, Rosenberg. This training is sanctioned by the Texas Master Gardener program, and the 24 attendees will receive the title of "Composter Specialist." More information, including an agenda and registration, is available online.
News and Notes
H-GAC, Scenic City Recognize Vibrant, Healthy Communities

H-GAC and Scenic Texas support vibrant, healthy communities across the state. Partnering with Scenic Texas to form the Scenic City Certification Program has been a natural fit for H-GAC, and cities and towns with strong infrastructure standards prove to be resilient, distinctive cities known for a strong sense of civic pride and well-positioned for economic growth.
Since 2010, the Scenic City Certification Program has certified 75 Texas cities for their commitment to high-quality infrastructure standards for public roadways and public spaces. Any Texas city may apply to receive an objective points-based evaluation and assessment of its existing municipal language, reviewed against the Scenic Model devised by Scenic Texas and its 16 Program Partners. 

The Scenic Model is a framework composed of 11 sections (and one Bonus section), of municipal infrastructure standards that impact public roadways and public spaces. Official certification is earned by cities scoring in the upper range of points and can verify three threshold standards: a landscaping/tree planting program, prohibition on new billboards, and regulation of on-premise signs. There are five certification levels: Recognized, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. 

See the full roster of certified Scenic Cities and review program requirements by exploring The 2019 application now available, and the 2019 application period is January 1 - March 31, 2019.

Funding Sources
Rural Utilities Service Water & Environmental Programs

The USDA's Rural Utilities Service's Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) has $165,475,000 in supplemental grant funding available for repairs to drinking water systems and sewer and solid waste disposal systems impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Entities wishing to apply for assistance, or that are in need of further information, should contact:

USDA Rural Development State Office
Federal Building, Suite 102
101 South Main, Temple, TX 76501
(254) 742-9700/TDD (254) 742-9712

Local water and sewer departments having workforce challenges to recruit and retain qualified workers within our region are encouraged to contact Traci Nolen at 713-993-2468.

America Walk Logo
Community Change Grant

America Walks has opened is annual Community Change Grant to applicants seeking small funds for community improvements that create more active, engaging places. Successful applications should demonstrate how their project will inspire people to walk in and around their communities. Applications are due Friday, November 2. Visit the America Walks website to apply.

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 a 20 percent match, which can include in-kind contributions
  • 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.
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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 LabBacteria 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.
Banner Photo: In the Richmond Area by Cheryl Mergo.

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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