September 2015
In This Issue
Bringing Back Main Street Earns National Recognition
Deadline Soon for Annual Parks Awards
Learn About Regional Water Conservation at CWI Workshop
H-GAC to Accept Applications for Solid Waste Grants
H-GAC to Analyze Best, Worst Waterways in the Region
Registration Open for Revitalization Roundtable October 1
Save the Date for Keeping Us Moving November 13
Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available
Focus On - Water Resources Information Map
Disaster Debris Clearance and Removal Contracts Save Time, Money
News From the Texas TMDL Program
Watershed Protection Planning Effort to Begin for West Fork of San Jacinto River, Lake Creek
Camera-Sharing Program to Help Combat Illegal Dumping
Be a Part of the 23rd Annual Rivers, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash®
Clean Air Action Leadership Awards Program Set for September 10
METRO's New Bus Network to be Topic at Next Brown Bag Lunch Series Program
Galveston Bay Report Card Identifies Highs and Lows of Bay's Health
Civic Forum to Consider Speculative Ideas, Innovations in Houston
Annual Bulb and Plant Mart Set for October 1-3
Registration Opens for Annual Bayou Preservation Symposium
Third Annual Houston Tomorrow Catalyst Awards October 7
APA Texas Conference Set for October 7-9 in Galveston
Save the Date for the 10th Annual State of the Bay Symposium January 13-14, 2016
Houston Bike Plan Survey Draws 2,800 Responses
Texas Department of Agriculture Asks for Feedback on TxCDBG Implementation Manual
Public Comments Sought for Gulf Coast Restoration Council Draft Initial Funded Priorities List
TCEQ Schedules Water Quality/Stormwater Annual Seminar
Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Program Seeks Award Applications
Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup Set for September 26
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set for September 26
Register for Compost Council Summit and Training, October 7-9
Schools Can Compete in Annual Recycle Bowl
Register Your Event, Find An Event on America Recycles Day
Register Early for CATEE Conference Set for December 1-3 in Galveston
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

Anahuac is the Alligator Capital of Texas. Celebrate all things gator at the 2015 Gatorfest September 11-13.


Photo by Justin Bower

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.

Bringing Back Main Street Earns National Recognition

NADO Innovation Award logo The Bringing Back Main Street program won a National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Innovation Award.


Bringing Back Main Street is an H-GAC initiative to help local governments, non-profits, businesses, and other stakeholders learn to work together to implement revitalization programs. The initiative included three related, but separate components: developing a downtown revitalization guidebook, organizing workshops, and providing technical assistance to local governments.


For 29 years, NADO's annual awards have honored members for innovative approaches to problem solving and program delivery. The Bringing Back Main Street program will be honored during the NADO 2015 Annual Training Conference in October.

Deadline Soon for Annual Parks Awards

Go Native - 2014 Parks Award Winner The deadline to submit an application for the 2015 Parks and Natural Areas Awards program is Wednesday, September 9 at 5 p.m. 


PNA Awards highlight best practices and innovative approaches to parks planning and implementation in the 13-county H-GAC region.


PNA Awards honor projects in four categories:

  • Projects $500,000 or more
  • Projects under $500,000
  • Planning Process
  • Policy Tools

Winning entries demonstrate best practices and collaboration between developers, local governments, engineering and planning agencies, businesses, environmental groups, and citizens. Entries are evaluated on innovation, merit, and regional impact. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region.


For more information on the PNA Awards process, contact Mary Martha Gaiennie at 713-993-2468.

Learn About Regional Water Conservation at CWI Workshop

Clean Waters Initiative Logo Regional Water Conservation will be the focus of the next Clean Waters Initiative Workshop Tuesday, September 15, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Houston-Galveston Area Council Conference Room B, Second Floor. 


Topics include

  • Water Conservation and the 2060 Region H Water Plan;
  • Water Conservation by the Yard: Estimating Savings from Outdoor Water Restriction; and
  • Water Management Strategies / Assessments for Buildings and Irrigation Systems.

The workshop is free, but online registration is required.


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

H-GAC to Accept Applications for Solid Waste Grants

Recycling Bin H-GAC will soon accept applications for Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Solid Waste Implementation Pass-Through Grants Program.


Over the next two years, H-GAC will award $1.2 million in grant funds ($600,000 per year), but will only accept applications for both years during the upcoming grant application period.


To join the e-mail list to be notified when the grant application period opens, contact Erin Livingston at 832-681-2525.

H-GAC to Analyze Best, Worst Waterways in the Region

Water Quality Monitoring H-GAC recently received a grant from the Galveston Bay Estuary Program to investigate sources of bacteria in the area's bayous and streams.


H-GAC will use the Bacteria Implementation Group's (BIG)Top 10 Most Wanted and Top 10 Most Likely to Succeed streams to identify target areas for monitoring and attempting  to locate potential bacteria sources.


Once identified, H-GAC will work with local authorities to remove those bacteria sources to improve water quality.


More information about the BIG is available online.

Registration Open for Revitalization Roundtable October 1

Bringing Back Main Street LogoRegistration is now open for the H-GAC Bringing Back Main Street: Revitalization Roundtable. The event will be Thursday, October 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Tomball Community Center, 221 Market Street, Tomball.

Participants will learn about different types of tourism common in small cities and rural areas throughout Texas.

Speakers include 

  • Mayor Gretchen Fagan (City of Tomball);
  • April Garner (Texas Historical Commission: State Coordinator, Heritage Tourism Program); and
  • Andrew Pompei, AICP (Houston-Galveston Area Council: Senior Regional Planner). 

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

Save the Date for Keeping Us Moving November 13

Keeping Us Moving LogoMark Your Calendars for Keeping Us Moving: Great Places----More Choices on Friday, November 13, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Norris Conference Center, City Centre, 816 Town and Country Blvd., Houston.


This half-day event offers a collaborative forum around topics related to the Livable Centers and Pedestrian/Bicyclist programs at H-GAC.


The program will include a luncheon with keynote speaker Adam Thies, former Director of Planning and Development Initiatives for the City of Indianapolis.


The workshop will also include two afternoon breakout sessions: Emerging Trends, highlighting technical and policy considerations in transportation planning; and Back to Basics, touching on planning, funding, and H-GAC tools available.


Registration for this event is $45 and will open Wednesday, September 9.

Pedestrian-Bicyclist Counters Available

Walking in a cross walk H-GAC promotes walking and bicycling by helping determine the demand for pedestrian-bicyclist facilities. 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.

FocusOnFocus On -  Water Resources Information Map

  Focus on Water Resources Information Map

H-GAC has launched an improved Water Resources Information Map (WRIM)

The WRIM is an interactive mapping tool designed to display H-GAC's Clean Rivers Program water quality data from more than 450 monitoring locations. The Clean Rivers Program seeks to ensure safe, clean surface water for the region by providing high quality data.


This tool is available to anyone, from water quality project managers to residents interested in current and historic water quality data in the region. Additionally, all tool features are available to users in a mobile-friendly design.

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.

News From the Texas TMDL Program

Armand Bayou Armand Bayou. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) adopted Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) for bacteria in Armand Bayou and approved the stakeholders' decision to implement them through the Bacteria Implementation Group's (BIG) I-Plan.


Upper Texas Gulf Coast Oyster Waters. The TCEQ approved the I-Plan for bacteria in the Upper Texas Gulf Coast oyster waters in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, and Harris counties. Stakeholders have already implemented several education and volunteer programs related to this plan.


Water Quality Management Plan. The TCEQ is accepting comment on its July 2015 Update to the Water Quality Management Plan through Tuesday, September 8. This draft includes updates to TMDLs for several bacterial impairments in waters of the H-GAC BIG project.


The TCEQ's TMDL Program sets targets for improved quality in surface waters. Communities in the watersheds work together to develop implementation plans (I-Plans) to achieve those targets.

Watershed Protection Planning Effort to Begin for West Fork of San Jacinto River, Lake Creek

West Fork San Jacinto River H-GAC is working with TCEQ to develop a watershed protection plan for the West Fork of the San Jacinto River and Lake Creek. Increased growth and deteriorating water quality have raised local concerns about this tributary of Lake Houston, an important part of the region's public water supply. Elevated levels of fecal bacteria in these waterways can increase the risk of illnesses during recreation and impact local economies.

Local stakeholders will use their knowledge of the area and scientific analysis to identify causes of water quality issues and recommend voluntary solutions to address them. 

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

Camera-Sharing Program Helps to Combat Illegal Dumping

CameraTo 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 use the cameras for solid waste purposes 100 percent of the time 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.

Be a Part of the 23rd Annual Rivers, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash®

Official Trash Bash Logo The 23rd River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash® is Saturday, April 2, 2016


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


Volunteers Needed. Since its inception, more than 98,000 volunteers have collected nearly 2,100 tons of trash, 1.3 tons of recyclable materials, and 9,600 tires. Learn how to volunteer to help clean up and promote a healthy Galveston Bay watershed.

Clean Air Action Leadership Awards Program Set for September 10

Clean Air Action AwardsThe 2015 Clean Air Action Best In Motion Leadership Awards Program will be Thursday, September 10, at 11 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston, Greenway Plaza. These annual awards recognize Clean Air Champions------businesses, governments, or organizations in the region taking steps to improve air quality.


The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Steven L. Klineberg, professor and co-director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research.


Early registration before Friday, September 4, is $65. Beginning Saturday, September 5, or at the door, the cost is $80.

METRO's New Bus Network to be Topic at Next Brown Bag Lunch Series Program

Thomas C Lambert - METRO - H-GAC Brown Bag SpeakerH-GAC's next Brown Bag Lunch Series program, METRO's New Bus Network, will be Monday, September 21, from noon to 1 p.m. in the H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.


Thomas C. Lambert, Sr. Vice President and CEO of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (METRO), will discuss the planning and implementation of METRO's new bus network.


Bring your lunch and enjoy this free event. For more information or to submit an abstract for a future presentation, contact Rosalind Hebert at 713-993-2471.

Galveston Bay Report Card Identifies Highs and Lows of Bay's Health

Galveston Bay Report Card 2015The Galveston Bay Foundation (GBF) and the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) recently released the Galveston Bay Report Card on the health of the Bay. This is the first time researchers have graded the Bay's overall health.


GBF spent a year gathering input from thousands of local residents and stakeholders to determine what people want to know about the health of Galveston Bay. HARC analyzed data and trends on the topics of water quality, pollution events and sources, wildlife, habitat, human health risks, and coastal change.


The combined grade for all six categories is a C, which the report card describes as "adequate for now."


The Bay's most significant challenges are pollution (toxins in sediment, oil spills, and litter); reduction in habitat acreage and a decline in some shellfish species; and the impacts of sea level rise. Some issues identified are due to preventable human activities. Others are more complex and will require cooperation and planning on both the local and regional levels.

Civic Forum to Consider Speculative Ideas, Innovations in Houston

Albert Pope has imagined futures for Fifth Ward in which high-density developments relate to one another to shape shared spaces. Projection drawing- Tsvetelina Zoraveva.From tiny houses to swimming holes, bayou greenways to pocket neighborhoods, Houston is flush with speculative ideas that have the power to change how Houstonians work, live, play, and move through the city. The panelists at the Rice Design Alliance Fall 2015 Civic Forum will elaborate on these ideas and showcase new projects that embody the spirit of innovation Houston is known for.

This civic forum is presented in conjunction with the release of the 97th issue of Cite: The Architecture + Design Review of Houston.

The civic forum will be Wednesday, September 23, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Brown Auditorium, Museum of Fine Arts, 1001 Bissonnet Street, Houston. Admission is free and open to the public. A short question-and-answer session will follow the panelists' presentations.

Annual Bulb and Plant Mart Set for October 1-3

Houston Garden Club Plant and Bulb Mart The Garden Club of Houston's 73rd Annual Bulb and Plant Mart will be October 1-3 at St. John the Divine Church, 2450 River Oaks Blvd., Houston.


This is the oldest and largest horticulture event in Texas featuring the widest selection of quality bulbs from domestic and international suppliers and offering an expanded collection of hard-to-find plants, perennials, trees, shrubs, and vines.

Registration Opens for Annual Bayou Preservation Symposium

BPA logo Online registration is now open for the 12th Annual Bayou Preservation Symposium on Friday, October 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the United Way Community Resources Center, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston. 


This year's theme is "Trash, Plastic, and Automobiles: Gross Pollutants in Our Watersheds."


Registration is $65 per person and $35 for students and Bayou HEROns.

Third Annual Houston Tomorrow Catalyst Awards October 7

Brain on blue background representing Houston Tomorrow Catalyst AwardsThe Houston Tomorrow third annual Catalyst Awards will be Wednesday, October 7, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at CenterPoint Energy Plaza, 1111 Louisiana St., Houston. The awards recognize and honor those whose ideas and actions change and improve the quality of Houstonians' lives.

As in previous years, the 2015 awards recognize individuals in four categories:

  • Emeritus - A person or people who were or have been a recognized force for change
  • Excellence - A long-term champion of quality of life who is now a recognized provocateur
  • Engaged - A thought leader who has a clear change agenda
  • Evolving - New on the scene and shaking things up
For more information, contact Houston Tomorrow at 713-523-5757 or e-mail

APA Texas Conference Set for October 7-9 in Galveston

APA 2015 Galveston LogoThe American Planning Association (APA) Texas Chapter State Planning Conference and Short Course for Appointed and Elected Officials will be October 7-9 in Galveston.

The conference will include topic-based sessions, mobile workshops, plenary and luncheon speakers, and social events. The short course offers training for planning commissioners and elected officials.  


Planning Award recipients will be recognized during an awards luncheon on Friday, October 9. 


AICP members have the opportunity to receive up to 12.5 hours of Certification Maintenance credits during the conference.


Registration details are available online.

Save the Date for the 10th Annual State of the Bay Symposium, January 13-14, 2016

back the bay logo  


The Galveston Bay Estuary Program will present the 10th Annual State of the Bay Symposium: 20 Years of Successfully Preserving Galveston Bay on January 13-14, 2016, at the Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center, Galveston.


More information will be available online.

Houston Bike Plan Survey Draws 2,800 Responses

Houston Bike Plan LogoThe Houston Bike Plan is a 12-month planning effort to update the City's Comprehensive Bikeway Plan originally adopted in 1993. The Houston Bike Plan will build on efforts like the Bayou Greenways Initiative to help make Houston a safer, healthier, more bike-friendly city for the growing number of people riding bikes.  


The first major public engagement period of the Houston Bike Plan concluded in July with over 2,800 surveys completed and more than 1,700 comments on the network map and goals.  The Houston Bike Plan team will draft a plan based on the extensive public input received. Later this year, the draft plan will be released for public review and feedback.

Texas Department of Agriculture Asks for Feedback on TxCDBG Implementation Manual

TDA LogoA draft of the 2015 Texas Community Development Block Grant Project Implementation Manual is available on the Texas Department of Agriculture website.


Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback to Vada Dillawn through Friday, September 11. A final version of the manual will be published effective Thursday, October 1.

Public Comments Sought for Gulf Coast Restoration Council Initial Funded Priorities List

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council LogoThe Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (Council) released a draft Initial Funded Priorities List from the settlement with Transocean Deepwater Inc. The Council is proposing to focus on 10 key watersheds across the Gulf, including two in the Houston-Galveston region. The Council also proposes a suite of Gulf-wide investments designed to support holistic ecosystem restoration.


Recommended projects include Matagorda Bay coastal habitat and landscape preservation and Galveston Bay bayou greenways and marsh restoration.


The public is encouraged to provide comment online, by e-mail, or by mail to:

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council
Attention - Draft FPL Comments
Hale Boggs Federal Building
500 Poydras Street, Suite 1117
New Orleans, LA 70130


TCEQ will also host listening sessions to give the public an opportunity to comment on the priorities for the Texas coast. The listening session in the H-GAC region will be Monday, September 14, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Texas A&M Galveston, Classroom Laboratory Building, Building 3007, Room 100, 200 Seawolf Parkway, Galveston.

TCEQ Schedules Water Quality/Stormwater Annual Seminar

Stormwater Water Quality Seminar Banner Logo

Registration is open for the TCEQ Water Quality/Stormwater Annual SeminarSeptember 22-23, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 6505 Interstate 35 North, Austin.


The seminar will include presentations ranging from the technical aspects of municipal, industrial, stormwater, and sludge permits to the design criteria for domestic treatment facilities and collection systems. Other topics will include water conservation, domestic water reuse, and water quality standards development and implementation procedures. Anyone involved in Texas Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting, stormwater management, or wastewater treatment plant design and operation is encouraged to participate.


Online registration is $100. Late registration (after Tuesday, September 8) is $150.

Texas Environmental Excellence Awards Program Seeks Award Applications

The application cycle for the 2016 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards, the highest environmental honors in the state, is open through Friday, September 25.


The awards recognize outstanding environmental projects from across Texas in nine categories:

  • Agriculture
  • Civic/Community
  • Education
  • Individual
  • Pollution Prevention
  • Innovative Operations/Management
  • Technical/Technology
  • Water Conservation
  • Youth

Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup Set for September 26

Adopt a Beach Logo 2015 The Texas General Land Office's Adopt-A-Beach Fall Cleanup will be Saturday, September 26, at locations along the Texas Coast, including several in the H-GAC region.


Since 1986, more than 476,000 volunteers have removed 9,000 tons (more than 17 million pounds) of trash from Texas beaches and estuaries.


Visit Adopt-A-Beach online to see more information, find a cleanup location near you and register.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Set for September 26

DEA Prescription Drug Graphic The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has scheduled a National Prescription Drug-Take Back Day on Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a great opportunity for those who missed previous events or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs to safely dispose of those medications.


The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications. Collection sites are posted on the DEA website.

Register for Compost Council Summit and Training, October 7-9

STAR Logo Online registration is now open for the Texas Compost Council Summit & Training, October 7-9. This year, the event moves to a new location, the Holiday Inn Conference Center, 1434 Centre Place Drive, Denton, with field activities and demonstrations at the City of Denton Solid Waste and Recycling Department.


This annual training workshop is for industrial composters and is hosted by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) Texas Compost Council.

Schools Can Compete in Annual Recycle Bowl

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 20 to November 15, but registration is open now. There are both competition and non-competition divisions for this program.

Register Your Event, Find An Event on America Recycles Day

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? Are you looking for an event to participate in?

Register your event or check out an interactive map of events scheduled around the country. More events will be posted as they are submitted.

Register Early for CATEE Conference Set for December 1-3 in Galveston
CATEE Banner - 2015
Early Bird Registration closes soon for the Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency (CATEE) 2015 Conference, December 1-3, at the Hotel Galvez & Spa in Galveston. Rates are subject increase after Friday, September 4

CATEE 2015 is a premier educational conference and energy-related business expo aimed at local governments, business and civic leaders, and the development community. Its purpose is to facilitate implementation of energy efficiency in the built environment by sharing effective policies, new technologies, best practices, and local successes. 

CATEE is continuing to accept applications for sponsors and exhibitors who will have promotional opportunities to present information and products to an anticipated audience of more than 200 attendees and a business expo with approximately 20 exhibitors.

For more information about available sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, contact Tammy Persky at 979-458-3437.

News from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA logoEPA Septic Smart Week is September 21-15
The EPA annual Septic Smart Week is September 21-25. To increase awareness for proper homeowner maintenance of septic systems, the EPA provides outreach materials for local governments and other agencies. Malfunctioning septic systems release bacteria, viruses, and chemicals toxic to local waterways. When these pollutants are released into the ground, they eventually enter streams, rivers, lakes, and more, harming local ecosystems by killing native plants, fish, and shellfish.



EPA Contest Highlights Green Infrastructure, LID
The EPA has announced a poster contest to highlight green infrastructure and low-impact development (LID) projects in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas. Did your business build a parking garage with a green roof? Do your city government buildings harvest rainwater? EPA wants to hear about projects like these in preparation for the EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference. Anyone who has developed or is working on a project using green infrastructure or LID is encouraged to submit a poster. Entries are due by Friday, September 25. First- and second-place prizes will be awarded for municipal or private professionals, as will a first-place prize for student entries. Poster authors can present their submissions at the upcoming 17th annual EPA Region 6 stormwater conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas, October 18-23.

fundingFunding Opportunities
Environmental Investigator
Keep Texas Beautiful Native Garden Grants
With funding from Keep America Beautiful and Lowe's, the Native Garden Grant program provides 12 drought-affected communities with support and materials to create and maintain a native plant demonstration garden. The program is open to Keep Texas Beautiful affiliates with Gold Star, Silver Star or Good Status in 2015 or new KTB affiliates who have applied in the past 12 months. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, September 8.
EPA Gulf of Mexico Program Cooperative Agreements
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Gulf of Mexico Program Cooperative Agreements is seeking proposals for projects that address water quality improvement; coastal habitat and ecosystems enhancement, restoration and/or protection; environmental education and outreach; and strengthen community resilience in the Gulf of Mexico region and its watersheds.  The deadline is Tuesday, September 15. 

Forest Service Community Protection Program Prescribed Burns Grants
Texas A&M Forest Service is offering grants to conduct prescribed burning. This year, $225,390 is available through the U.S. Forest Service Community Protection Program for applicable prescribed burn projects. The grant's goal is to protect high-risk communities and associated forest resources by reducing the risk of catastrophic wildfire on private and public lands. Interested landowners within a 10-mile radius of a national forest are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Coastal Technical and Financial Assistance Program
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Coastal Program is a voluntary, incentive-based program that provides direct technical assistance and financial assistance in the form of cooperative agreements to coastal communities and landowners to restore and protect fish and wildlife habitat on public and private lands. Projects should incorporate ecosystem adaptation to help coastal ecosystems and communities prepare for and adapt to the effects of sea-level rise and greenhouse gases. Eligible entities include local governments and individuals. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Local Park Grants
Texas Parks and Wildlife is now accepting applications for the Urban Outdoor, Non-urban Outdoor, and Small Community Local Park Grant Programs. Eligible applicants include local government entities and some special districts. This is a 50 percent matching grant. The deadline to apply is Thursday, October 1.

Boating Access Grants
Texas Parks and Wildlife is now accepting applications for the Boating Access Program. This grant program provides 75 percent matching grant funds for the construction of public boat ramp facilities throughout Texas. Local government sponsors must make an application, provide the land, provide access to the proposed boat ramp, supply 25 percent of the development costs, and accept operation and maintenance responsibilities for at least 25 years. These funds are allocated annually through the federal Sport Fish Restoration Act. The deadline to apply is Thursday, October 1.

TCEQ Clean School Bus Program Grants
The TCEQ's Texas Clean School Bus Program is accepting grant applications from schools to retrofit eligible diesel-powered school buses with emissions-reduction technology. This grant opportunity is open to all public and charter schools in Texas that operate one or more diesel-powered school buses. While a school district may apply for any amount of funding, the TCEQ has limited funds and will review applications on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, December 2.

FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program
The president declared a major disaster for the State of Texas following the dangerous flooding earlier this year. As such,funding for FEMA-4223-DR is now available statewide through the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. Funding priority will be given to projects including flood control, demolition, and individual and community safe rooms. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, December 15.

Recreational Trail Grants
Texas Parks and Wildlife is accepting applications for the Recreational Trail Program. This is a reimbursable grant program to cover up to 80 percent of project cost with a maximum of $200,000 for non-motorized trail grants and $400,000 for motorized off-highway vehicle grants. Funds can be spent on both motorized and non-motorized recreational trail projects that are open and accessible to the general public such as the construction of new recreational trails, to improve existing trails, to develop trailheads or trailside facilities, and to acquire trail corridors. The deadline to apply is Monday, February 1, 2016.

TCEQ Light-Duty Purchase or Lease Incentive Program
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is offering up to $7.7 million in incentives toward the purchase or lease of eligible new vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied petroleum gas (propane), or electric drives. Visit the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) website for more information, including deadlines.

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 online. Rapid 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

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


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 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), 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 department program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region, including fish consumption advisories @HGACwater.

News and Notes

Andrea Tantillo, Communications Specialist
Houston-Galveston Area Council
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