February 2016 CandE Newsletter Banner Photo       
February 2016
In This Issue
Trash Bash® Set for April 2
Texas Stream Team Training Set for February 11
Workshop Topic is Emerging Trends in Wastewater Treatment
H-GAC, TxDOT to Host Bicycle Planning Workshop
CEDS to be Topic at Livable Houston Initiative Meeting
Public Comment Sought for Jarbo Bayou Bacteria Reduction Project
Regional Recycling Roundtable to be February 25
Focus On - Riparian Buffer Planning Tool
H-GAC to Present on Using a Geospatial Analytical Approach to Estimate Bacteria Sources
Camera-Sharing Program to Help Combat Illegal Dumping
Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Join Mailing List to Learn More About Upcoming Storm Debris Workshop Series
Houston Bike Plan to Be Released Later This Month
EPA Climate Readiness Workshop for Water Utilities Begins Today
Annual Vegetable Conference Set for February 4
Early Registration for Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference Ends February 15
TCEQ to Host Small Domestic Wastewater Systems Asset Management Workshops
KTB Accepting Proposals for Presentation Speakers for Annual Conference in Sugar Land
Workshop to Focus on Energy, Water Efficiency
Save the Date for the Greater Houston Environmental Summit
Scenic City Certification Program Continues to Accept Certification Applications
Mark Your Calendars for Annual Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar
Deadlines Approach for Annual KTB Awards
Annual Workshop to Highlight Tax Law Changes for Forest Landowners
KTB Announces Registration for Great American Cleanup
TCEQ's Take Care of Texas Seeks Entries in Elementary School Art Contest
Adopt-a-Beach Announces Children's Art Competition
Registration Now Open for Texas Big Six - Make No Small Plans Workshop
Prescription Drug Take-Back Set for April, Law Enforcement Encourage to Participate
Abstracts Being Accepted for National Nonpoint Source Monitoring Workshop
Three-day Conference Offers CPTED Certification Opportunity.
Save the Date for Texas Land Trust Council's Annual Conservation Conference
2016 Safe Routes to School National Conference Set for April 5-7
Communities Nationwide to Celebrate Bike to School Day on May 4
News from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Funding Opportunities
Community and Environmental Planning
News and Notes
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List!
Meeting Information
To visit the H-GAC website for a list of all upcoming meetings click here.

To get a list of other environmentally related meetings and events in our region click here.

Disability SignIn compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, H-GAC will provide for 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

American Statesmanship Park in Houston is home to 18-foot tall sculptures of Stephen F. Austin, Sam Houston, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington. (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 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.

Trash Bash® Set for April 2

Picking up trash at Trash Bash 2015

It's Almost Time to "Clean It Like You Mean It!"


The 23rd River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash® is set for Saturday, April 2, at 15 sites around the region. This half-day event is the largest single-day waterway cleanup in Texas.

 

Help pick up trash and promote a healthy Galveston Bay watershed by volunteering along with 4,500 of your closest friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Get a t-shirt and lunch, win prizes, and learn more about water. Check out the Trash Bash® video on YouTube or visit TrashBash.org to learn more.

Texas Stream Team Training Set for February 11

H-GAC Stream Team Coordinator Will Merrell

H-GAC Texas Stream Team
Coordinator Will Merrell

Texas Stream Team will host a training class from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, February 11, at the Pearland Recreation Center and Natatorium, 4141 Bailey Road, Pearland. The training consists of both classroom instruction and an afternoon field session. Participants should be prepared for inclement weather and wear closed-toe shoes.


More than 120 volunteers collect water quality data on lakes, rivers, and streams in the 13-county H-GAC region.


For more information and to register, contact Will Merrell at 713-993-4594. 

Workshop Topic is Emerging Trends in Wastewater Treatment

Clean Waters Initiative LogoThe next Clean Waters Initiative (CWI) workshop, Emerging Trends in Wastewater Treatment Technology, will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


Speakers from the Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Adurra Group will discuss current trends and emerging technologies in wastewater treatment, as well as answer audience questions.


The workshop is free, but online registration is requested. For more information, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.

H-GAC, TxDOT to Host Bicycle Planning Workshop

H-GAC's Pedestrian-Bicyclist Program is hosting a workshop, Working with TxDOT to Implement Pedestrian/Bicycle Improvements: Projects, Process, and People, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, February 18, in H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


Representatives from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will provide information on a variety of issues related to pedestrian and bicycle planning in the region, such as:  

  • How TxDOT plans for pedestrians and cyclists
  • Proposed and completed pedestrian/bicycle projects sponsored by TxDOT
  • Tips on navigating TxDOT's funding and contracting processes
  • TxDOT representatives working in communities

This event is free, and pre-registration is not required. For more information, contact Andrew Pompei at 832-681-2598.  

CEDS to be Topic at Livable Houston Initiative Meeting

Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District LogoJeff Taebel, Director of Community and Environmental Planning at H-GAC, will discuss the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) at the Houston Tomorrow Livable Houston Initiative meeting at noon Wednesday, February 24, in H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

 

The CEDS is the region's economic development plan. The CEDS analyzes the regional economy, establishes regional economic goals and strategies, and outlines a plan of action. In his presentation, Mr. Taebel will discuss the region's economic overview, regional resources, and regional needs.

Public Comment Sought for Jarbo Bayou Bacteria Reduction Project
Jarbo Bayou The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will hear public comment on a project to reduce bacteria and protect recreational safety in Jarbo Bayou in Galveston County. High concentrations of bacteria, such as E. coli, may indicate a health risk to people who swim or wade in the streams.

The TCEQ and a group of local stakeholders have developed a total maximum daily load (TMDL) and an implementation plan which will be the road map for improving water quality.

The comment meeting will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, February 25, at the Clear Lake Shores Club House, 931 Cedar Street, Clear Lake Shores.
  
Copies of the draft TMDL will be available online or by calling 512-239-6682.

Regional Recycling Roundtable to be February 25

Recycling Bin Save the date for the next Regional Recycling Roundtable, scheduled for Thursday, February 25, from 10 a.m. to noon in H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.


H-GAC hosts quarterly Regional Recycling Roundtables to promote recycling and waste reduction and provide a forum for discussion about recycling issues within the H-GAC region.


To be added to the list for notices of upcoming meetings, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Focus On -  Riparian Buffer Planning Tool

  Focus On Riparian Buffer Planning Tool

The Houston-Galveston region is experiencing a wide range of water quality issues, many of which are linked to contaminants from stormwater runoff. In an effort to improve water quality, landowners have the opportunity to protect or create riparian buffers, undisturbed vegetated buffers along waterways on their property, to naturally protect a waterway from the impact of adjacent land uses. State and federal agencies have many funding and incentive programs available to assist and encourage landowners to implement riparian buffers. However, the resources and information is widely dispersed and often difficult to obtain.

 

To reach a larger demographic of landowners and facilitate the planning process, H-GAC, in a collaborative effort with local agricultural agency representatives and conservation professionals, developed an online Riparian Buffer Planning Tool to house all pertinent information landowners need to implement riparian buffers.

 

Tabs provide a step-by-step format users can follow to learn more about riparian buffers and current water quality related issues, as well as access interactive mapping tools, information about available incentive programs, a cost share payment calculator, and contact information for agency representatives and technical professionals. Visit www.h-gac.com/go/riparian or contact Paniz Miesen at 832-681-2523 to learn more.

H-GAC to Present on Using a Geospatial Analytical Approach to Estimate Bacteria Sources

Water drop The annual ESRI Water Conference will be February 9-11 in Austin. Water, wastewater, stormwater, and water resources professionals can learn best practices for emergency response, sustainable operations, capital improvement planning, and customer transparency.


Thushara Ranatunga with H-GAC will present how a geospatial analytical approach can be used to estimate potential bacteria loading from different sources, such as failing on-site sewer systems, wastewater discharges, wildlife, livestock, pet waste, and stormwater runoff.

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 purpose 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.

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.

Join Mailing List to Learn More About Upcoming Storm Debris Workshop Series

Storm Debris from Hurricane Ike

Each year, H-GAC hosts a series of workshops to address the need for communities to perform efficient and timely cleanup of disaster debris.


New workshops will be announced in the spring.

 

To join the notification list, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

Houston Bike Plan to Be Released Later This Month
Houston Bike Plan Logo
The City of Houston Bike Plan team has developed a draft plan to be released for public feedback later this month.

Following the release, activities designed to collect public feedback on plan recommendations will begin online. City of Houston staff will be at outreach events and meetings in communities across the city to ask if they got it right or if there is something they missed.

Visit the Houston Bike Plan to view the plan vision and goals and sign up for email updates to be notified when the draft plan is available. 
EPA Climate Readiness Workshop for Water Utilities Begins Today
Climate Ready Water Utilties Logo
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is holding a free workshop regarding Climate Readiness for Water Utilities for Region 6 beginning at 12:30 p.m. today (February 1) and continuing tomorrow (February 2) at the City of Houston Permitting Center, 1002 Washington Avenue, Houston.

This interactive workshop will explore the future impacts of climate change and its impact on water infrastructure. The workshop will include hands-on training with the EPA's Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool.

The workshop is meant for utility operators, government officials, watershed planners, and water sector associates. More information, including a registration form, is available online
Annual Vegetable Conference Set for February 4
vegetables

The 31st Annual Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, February 4, at the Fort Bend County Fairgrounds, Buildings B&C, 4310 Highway 36 South, Rosenberg. Registration at the door opens at 7:30 a.m.

 

Fort Bend County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service teamed up with the Austin, Brazoria, Colorado, Galveston, Harris, Waller, and Wharton county offices to present this celebration of vegetable production along the upper Gulf Coast region.

 

The event focuses on teaching sustainable practices to help producers maximize efficiencies and profitability.

 

Afternoon breakout sessions include:

  • Vegetable Disease Management
  • Strawberry Project Update
  • No Till and Low Till Practices
  • Breeding Updates
  • Irrigation for Small Acreage
  • Laws and Regulations Update
  • Integrated Feral Swine Management

Licensed Pesticide Applicators can earn five continuing education credits.


Lunch is included with the $25 fee. Register online, at the door, or by phone at 979-845-2604.

 

For more information, contact Brandy Rader at 281-342-3034.

Early Registration for Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference Ends February 15

Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference logo The Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference will be March 9-11 at the Houston Marriott Medical Center, 6580 Fannin Street.


The theme of this conference is Future Trails: Planning Spaces, Connecting Places. This three-day statewide conference features international, national, and state experts, networking, and off-site mobile workshops and exhibits.

 

Early registration continues through Monday, February 15.
TCEQ to Host Asset Management Workshops on New Guide

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is hosting free asset management workshops based on their new guide, Managing Small Domestic Wastewater Systems (RG-530).

 

Presenters will demonstrate how to develop an asset inventory, how to prioritize needed repairs or replacement of assets, how to prepare a budget to determine how much money is needed to support the utility, and how to ensure the system is sustainable for the long term. Operators will earn 3.5 continuing education credits for attending a workshop.

 

Two workshops will be offered in the region:

  • 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday, February 23, at Robinson Road Community Center, 27434 Robinson Road, Conroe
  • 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, February 24,  at George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview Drive, Richmond

For more information and to register, visit TCEQ's website or call 800-447-2827.

KTB Accepting Proposals for Presentation Speakers at Annual Conference in Sugar Land
Keep Texas Beautiful 2016 Annual Conference Logo

Keep Texas Beautiful is looking for a few good speakers for its annual conference June 20-22 in Sugar Land.

The three-day, multi-track format offers attendees education sessions and interactive forums. Presentations are designed for all levels of experience and cover a variety of topics.

 

Members of the Keep Texas Beautiful Conference Committee evaluate all proposed presentations based on the following criteria: educational in nature, relevant to the KTB mission, overall quality, and speaker qualifications.

 

All proposals are due Monday, February 29. Final selections will be made in March. 

 

Sponsor and exhibitor opportunities are also available.

 

For more information, contact Christine Chute Canul

Workshop to Focus on Energy, Water Efficiency
Houston skyline

H-GAC and the Houston Area Research Center are hosting the Best Practices in Energy and Water Efficiency for Texas Cities workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 3, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

 

This workshop, open to all local governments in the Houston-Galveston region, will present the findings from two years of research and engagement with Texas cities working to identify best practices in energy and water efficiency.


Workshop participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts who have successfully implemented projects across the state.

 

Workshop registration is available online. For more information contact Gavin Dillingham at 281-364-6045.

Save the Date for the Greater Houston Environmental Summit
CEC logo

Mark your calendar for the Citizen's Environmental Coalition (CEC) annual Greater Houston Environmental Summit on Thursday, March 24.

 

For more information, including sponsoring the event or serving on the planning committee, contact Rachel Powers.

 

Scenic City Certification Program Continues to Accept Certification Applications

The Scenic City Certification Program, a project of Scenic Texas in cooperation with H-GAC, Texas Municipal League, and several additional partners, will accept applications from January 1 through March 31.

The program supplies cities an objective review of existing infrastructure ordinances for public roadways and public spaces, evaluated using the Scenic City model. Assessments are points-based with every applicant receiving a detailed, scored evaluation.

The Scenic City information packet with updated 2016 model standards is now available for download.

 

A new step has been added to the Scenic City application process. All new applicant cities and re-certifying Scenic Cities will participate in a short phone orientation with staff prior to beginning the application. Email application@sceniccitycertification.org to schedule a phone orientation. Please include two or three available dates and times.

Cities earning the highest points are certified for five years. Currently there are 58 certified Scenic Cities in Texas, including 11 in the H-GAC region: Friendswood, Houston, Magnolia, Missouri City, Nassau Bay, Pearland, Seabrook, Sealy, Sugar Land, Webster, and West University Place.

Mark Your Calendars for Annual Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar

Harris County logo

Plans are underway for the sixth annual Harris County Onsite Wastewater Seminar scheduled for Tuesday, May 3. Registration will open in April.


Forward your suggestions for topics to Danielle Cioce.

Deadlines Approach for Annual KTB Awards
Keep Texas Beautiful
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) Governor's Community Achievement Award (GCAA) program applications are due Tuesday, February 9. These awards recognize Texas communities with the best grassroots environmental programs. The 10 winning communities will share $2 million in landscaping awards. 
  
Two additional KTB awards programs (below) also have upcoming deadlines. 

The Keep Texas Beautiful Awards celebrate the efforts of individuals, groups, and government agencies who work to enhance their communities. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, February 16. 

The Youth and Educator Awards honor extraordinary students, educators, and volunteers working to improve and beautify their communities. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, May 3.
Annual Workshop to Highlight Tax Law Changes for Forest Landowners

2015 Texas A&M Forest Service Logo The 2016 Texas Timber Tax Workshop will be from 8 a.m, to 5 p.m. Tuesday, February 16, at the Lottie and Arthur Temple Civic Center, 601 Dennis St., Diboll. Registration is $75 and includes a workbook, lunch, and refreshments.


This annual workshop hosted by Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Forestry Association gives hundreds of foresters, landowners and other professionals training and education needed for applying new tax rules, which could prove an advantage in forest management planning. 

 

The workshop is designed for anyone who deals with timber taxes. Participation in this workshop also qualifies for continuing education credits.

 

For more information or to register, contact Jennifer Hayes at 979-458-6630. 

KTB Announces Registration for Great American Cleanup

Great American Cleanup Logo Plans are underway across the country for the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program, from March 1 to May 31. 


 

Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) is asking everyone planning to host a cleanup event during this time to register to gain access to valuable resources and materials for planning, promoting, and hosting the event, such as trash bags, banners, gloves, and giveaways. Also, be sure to add your event to the KTB calendar.

TCEQ's Take Care of Texas Seeks Entries in Elementary School Art Contest

Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality(TCEQ) and Samsung Austin Semiconductor invite K-5th grade students in Texas to submit their artwork showing how they help keep the air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.

 

Fifteen students will win a Samsung tablet, and one grand prize winner will receive a laptop. The winning pieces will be showcased on the Take Care of Texas and TCEQ websites, newsletters, social media, and at the 2016 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference. The teacher of the student who designs the overall best artwork will also be awarded a Samsung tablet.


All entries must be postmarked on or before Wednesday, March 2.

 

Visit Take Care of Texas  to download an entry form in English or Spanish and view the official rules.

Adopt-a-Beach Announces Children's Art Competition

Adopt a Beach Logo 2015The 2016 Adopt-a-Beach Children's Art Contest is now open for K-6th grade students to illustrate how trash on beaches affects marine life and the Texas coast.


Forty students will win prizes from United Airlines, Royal Caribbean, Schlitterbahn, the Texas State Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Houston Zoo. Winning artwork will also be featured in the 2017 Adopt-a-Beach calendar.

 

The deadline for entries is Wednesday, March 2. Rules and requirements are available online.
Registration Now Open for Texas Big Six - Make No Small Plans Workshop

Big 6 2016 LogoEarly bird registration continues through Friday, February 5, for the Texas Big Six-Make No Small Plans workshop. Hosted by the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) and the Houston and Central sections of the American Planning Association (APA), the conference will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 4, at the Texas State Capitol, Capitol Auditorium, 1100 Congress Avenue, Austin.


Planning directors from the six largest cities in Texas (Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio) will discuss the game changers in their cities and regions that will improve or enhance that area's transportation, housing, economic development, environment, public health, and culture. The event's keynote speaker is Steve Cover, the Director of the Department of Community Planning, Housing, and Development in Arlington County, Virginia.


Early registration is $25 for students and $55 for APA members.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Set for April 30, Law Enforcement Encourage to Participate

DEA Prescription Drug GraphicThe U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is sponsoring a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 30.

 

Only law enforcement agencies may host a collection site as they must be present to receive the pharmaceuticals brought by the public. 

 

Law enforcement agencies interested in hosting an event can find more information online.

Abstracts Being Accepted for National Nonpoint Source Monitoring Workshop

Non Point Source Workshop BannerAbstracts are now being accepted for the 22nd National Nonpoint Source (NPS) Monitoring Workshop August 23-25 in Salt Lake City, Utah.


The workshop is a forum for sharing information and improving communication on controlling and tracking NPS pollution at its source and in receiving waterbodies.

 

Organizers are seeking enthusiastic presenters interested in sharing their experiences and lessons learned.


Technical workshops and interactive learning sessions will be offered to build knowledge and skills, transfer technology, and promote innovative monitoring and evaluation techniques. Field tours will be offered in both agricultural and urban settings.


Submittal deadline is Friday, March 4.

  

Successful applicants are required to provide completed presentations by Friday, July 15. In most cases, oral presentations will be limited to 20 minutes. All speakers must register in advance for the conference.

 

For information contact Liz Hiett at 703-385-1684.

Three-day Conference Offers CPTED Certification Opportunity

Working on Wellness logoThe Hildalgo County Coalition's Working on Wellness (WOW) Hidalgo grant program is hosting a free three-day conference, Community Engagement for Safer Parks and Recreation, February 3-5 at the Lark Community Center, McAllen.


Attendees participating in all three days of the conference can earn Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) certification.

 

Training topics include: 

  • Introduction to CPTED
  • CPTED Definition and Strategies
  • Design Out Crime Prevention
  • Lighting for Safety and Security
  • Designs for Walkable Neighborhoods
  • Park Site Plan Review
  • Traffic Calming and CPTED


More information, including registration, is available online.

Save the Date for Texas Land Trust Council's Annual Conservation Conference

Texas Land Conservation Conference logoThe Texas Land Trust Council 2016 Texas Land Conservation Conference coming will be March 2-4 in Austin, with workshops, sessions and speakers planned.

 

Topics include water rights and policy, advocacy, conservation easements, and inspiring the next generation of conservationists.

 

More information about the conference, including online registration and a conference schedule, is available online.

2016 Safe Routes to School National Conference Set for April 5-7

Sae Routes to School LogoRegistration is now open for the fifth Safe Routes to School National Conference April 5-7 in Columbus, Ohio.


The conference will bring together national bicycle and pedestrian safety experts, advocates, and health professionals involved with Safe Routes to School to network, engage in educational opportunities, and form partnerships to enhance their Safe Routes to School work.


Safe Routes to School is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and fun opportunities for children to safely bicycle and walk to and from school. 

Communities Nationwide to Celebrate Bike to School Day on May 4

Walk Bike to School logoChildren, parents, school officials, and community members across the country plan to celebrate the fifth annual National Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 4. 

 

Each year event registration sets new records, making 2016 the biggest anticipated celebration yet.

 

Bike to School Day provides communities across the country with an opportunity to promote safe and healthy travel to and from school. Registration is free and provides organizers access to planning materials, including stickers, certificates, badges, and classroom activities.     
News from the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA LogoEPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Wastewater Infrastructure

EPA has released a survey showing $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation's wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff. The Clean Watershed Needs Survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost.

fundingFunding Opportunities
Tree with $ Money
TCEQ Texas Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's (TCEQ) Texas Emissions Reduction Plan program is accepting applications for Emissions Reduction Incentives Grants designed to reduce air pollution. Owners of eligible vehicles and equipment in counties in the nonattainment or near-nonattainment areas for national ambient air quality standards are eligible for funding. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, February 2.
 
NFWF Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) is seeking applications for the 2016 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. This program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality and watersheds and the species and habitats they support. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, February 3.
 
TWDB State Water Implementation Fund for Texas
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) State Water Implementation Fund for Texas (SWIFT) is seeking applications for the second round of financial assistance. Eligible projects must be included in the adopted 2016 Regional Water Plans and the subsequent 2017 State Water Plan. Abridged applications are due by Friday, February 5.
 
HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants Program
U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhood Planning Grants funding can leverage investments in public schools and education programs, early learning programs and services, crime prevention strategies, public assets, public transportation, and improved access to jobs. Eligible projects should incorporate sustainable development into their proposals, such as energy efficiency, green building, renewable energy, and public transportation. Applications are due Tuesday, February 9.
 
EPA Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving Grants
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking applicants for a total of $1.2 million in Environmental Justice Collaborative Problem-Solving grants. Cooperative agreements may be awarded to local community-based organizations seeking to address environmental and/or public health concerns in their communities through collaboration with other stakeholders, such as state and local governments, industry, academia, or non-governmental organizations. The deadline to apply is Friday, February 12.
 
TWDB Agricultural Water Conservation Grants
The Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) is accepting applications for Fiscal Year 2016 Agricultural Water Conservation Grants. TWDB has up to $600,000 in grant funding available, with applications limited to a maximum of $150,000 per project. Eligible grant categories this year include Technical Assistance, Outreach, Education, and Demonstrations; Agricultural Water Use Monitoring Equipment; Feasibility Study for Development of a Statewide Evapotranspiration Network; and Study of Irrigation Efficiency in Texas. Applications are due Wednesday, February 17.
 
TCEQ RESTORE Funding
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is accepting applications for more than $56 million in RESTORE grant funding available for environmental, ecological ,or economic projects. Eligible projects in the Gulf Coast region include those that restore and protect natural habitats, mitigate damage to fish and wildlife, improve state parks in coastal areas, protect against coastal floods, promote tourism and/or consumption of Gulf Coast seafood, and develop the workforce and create jobs in the coastal region. Applications are due on Friday, April 15.
 
TDA Texas Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) 2016 Disaster Relief Fund
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) TxCDBG Disaster Relief Fund applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis. These applications must be complete and request assistance for disaster events that were declared within 12 months of the application's submission.
 
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, non-construction, 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 advance 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.

 

HGALDCThe 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 applying for a loan or getting more information 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.

 

Facebook

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), and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

 

Twitter

Twitter LogoFind the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter Feed @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources department program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region, including fish consumption advisories, @HGACwater.

News and Notes

News Icon Montgomery County Growth: Development Set to Stabilize in County in 2016
East-end Fort Bend Cities Update Bike Infrastructure

Safe Routes to Parks Concept Gains Momentum

U.S. Energy Department Puts Up $18 Million to Get More Solar on the Grid
Students Design Affordable, Homes That Target Mass-production of $20,000

Andrea Tantillo, Communications Specialist
Houston-Galveston Area Council
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