H-GAC Seeks Feedback, Public Comment on 2018 Hurricane Harvey Disaster Recovery Funds Reallocation
H-GAC is seeking input on an amendment to the 2018 Method of Distribution (MOD) for Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds for local infrastructure projects in the H-GAC region. The amendment would reallocate $2,305,505 in declined and/or de-obligated funds. Funded projects must directly address infrastructure damage from Hurricane Harvey and at least 70% of the funds must be used for persons of low-and moderate-income.
Only local and county governments in Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Waller, Walker, or Wharton counties are eligible for funds. The Texas General Land Office did not include Harris County and the City of Houston in the original 2018 allocation and will not include either entity in this reallocation as they each received direct allocations for local infrastructure projects from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the Texas General Land Office.
The proposed amendment summary, including meeting minutes from a Public Planning Meeting on November 9, a draft summary form, and the draft reallocation sheet, is now available to download and review.
H-GAC Seeks Information on Conservation Projects in the Region
As part of our Regional Conservation Initiative, H-GAC will actively assist with preparing grant applications, convening stakeholders, and otherwise supporting the implementation of priority conservation projects across the 13-county H-GAC region. To guide our efforts, we are collecting information about planned conservation projects from local governments and non-governmental organizations and categorizing the projects in a priority list.
There is no funding associated with this project priority list, but selected projects will be eligible to receive H-GAC staff assistance.
The TCEQ will host a public meeting for the draft I-Plan at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, at the Caney Creek Municipal Utility District, 405 County Road 298, Sargent, TX 77414 (¼ mile down CR 298 southwest of its intersection with Highway 457 in Sargent).
During this meeting, individuals will have the opportunity to present oral statements. An agency staff member will give a brief presentation at the start of the meeting and will be available to answer questions before and after all oral statements have been received.
H-GAC worked with communities in the watershed to develop the I-Plan. The I-Plan describes the strategy and activities that TCEQ and watershed partners will implement to improve water quality in the affected watershed. After the public comment period, staff may make appropriate changes to the proposed I-Plan and will respond to public comments. Following the public comment period, the TMDL Program will request that the TCEQ consider approval of the final I-Plan. Upon approval of the I-Plan, the final I-Plan and a response to all comments received will be made available on TCEQ’s website. The I-Plan, combined with the TMDL, provides local, regional, and state organizations with a comprehensive strategy for improving and maintaining water quality in an impaired watershed.
East Fork San Jacinto River Watershed Partnership Meeting– December 12 (Hybrid)
H-GAC, in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), will hold an informational meeting to introduce the East Fork San Jacinto River Watershed Partnership on Monday, December 12, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Participation in the meeting will allow stakeholders to be directly involved in the development of a Watershed Protection Plan to improve water quality by reducing sources of pollution in the East Fork of the San Jacinto River and its tributaries.
This meeting will be hosted online via Zoom and in person at the Montgomery County Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office, 9020 Airport Road, Conroe.
Registration is required to attend online and requested to attend in person.
Chocolate Bay Stakeholder Meeting – December 13 (Hybrid)
H-GAC invites residents, local governments, businesses, and non-profits within the watersheds that make up Chocolate Bay—Chocolate Bayou, Mustang Bayou, and Halls Bayou—to attend a stakeholder meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, December 13.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss water quality issues affecting communities in the Chocolate Bay watershed, including Algoa, Arcola, Alvin, Fresno, Hillcrest, Iowa Colony, Liverpool, Manvel, Missouri City, Pearland, and Santa Fe. Pollutants, specifically fecal bacteria, in these waterways may impact public health, local economies, and the natural environment. Residents and organizations are invited to participate and provide input toward the development a watershed-based plan to address water quality and reduce fecal bacteria.
Oyster Creek Stakeholder Meeting– December 14 (Hybrid)
H-GAC invites residents, local governments, businesses, and non-profits within the Oyster Creek Watershed in Brazoria and Fort Bend counties to attend a stakeholder meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, December 14.
The purpose of the meeting is to discuss water quality issues affecting communities in the Oyster Creek watershed south of Sugar Land, including Angleton, Arcola, Bailey’s Prairie, Bonney, Clute, Holiday Lakes, Iowa Colony, Juliff, Lake Jackson, Missouri City (Sienna Plantation), Richwood, Rosharon, and Sandy Point. Pollutants, specifically fecal bacteria, in this waterway may impact public health, local economies, and the natural environment. Residents and organizations are invited to participate in this and future meetings to provide input that will be used to review the draft bacteria reduction plan and to consider the next steps needed to put the plan into action.
Missing Middle Housing Peer Exchange– January 19, 2023 (In-Person)
Save the date for the next Missing Middle Housing: A Regional Conversation peer exchange from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, January 19, 2023, at the Learning and Development Center - Houston, 4501 Leeland Street, Houston.
At the first peer exchange, participants shared their ideas and the challenges they’ve identified around Missing Middle Housing in the Houston-Galveston region. At this second event, attendees will hear innovative approaches to developing Missing Middle Housing and preserving affordable workforce housing from a panel of housing experts.
Jeffrey B. Goodman, AICP, Planning Policy Consultant, Granicus
Jennifer Ostlind, AICP, Deputy Director, Community and Regional Planning, City of Houston
Curtis M. Davis, R.A., Development Consultant, Houston Housing Collaborative
The Bringing Back Main Street initiative offers local communities a place to share best practices and engage in a regional dialogue about revitalizing and supporting vibrant downtown spaces. Each quarter, community leaders gather for a roundtable on topics ranging from small business support to sidewalk infrastructure.
Award-winning projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. Projects will be honored in four categories: Planning Process, On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000, On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000, and Programming. Participants will also hear about trends in parks and natural areas from industry experts.
Since its inception, more than 117,000 volunteers have collected over 2,400 tons of trash, 22 tons of recyclable materials, and 11,965 tires. Find out how to volunteer and promote a healthy Galveston Bay watershed at one of their many cleanup locations on March 25.
Cleanup supplies, event t-shirts, and lunch are provided to all volunteers. Trash Bash hopes you will come out and help “Clean it like you mean it !” ®
Take Care of Texas Student Video Contest
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 2, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 17-23, 2023. There will be six winners. Waste Management of Texas, Inc. will provide prizes—gift cards and scholarships.
Houston Protect Our Pipes Campaign
Around 70% of sanitary sewer overflows in Houston are caused by clogs from cooking fats, oils and grease poured down the drain and wipes flushed down toilets. Each year when temperatures drop, Houston Public works responds to twice as many sewer overflows due to blockages caused by grease. This can cause untreated wastewater to back up into our homes and streets, harming the environment and our health. The City of Houston’s Protect Our Pipes digital toolkit provides resources to educate residents on how they can help prevent sewer overflows in their community. The materials are an aggregate of resources for websites, emails, newsletters, news stories and blog posts.
More Upcoming Events
Becoming an Outdoors Girl Camp– December 10, February 4
The Environmental Institute of Houston is offering Becoming an Outdoors Girl, a free, one-day camp for girls in grades 6 through 12. The camp will be from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 10, and Saturday, February 4, 2023, on the University of Houston-Clear Lake Campus. Participants can choose from different sessions, including archery, art in nature, birding, camping skills, fishing and dip-netting, geocaching, iNaturalist, mammals, plant and mushroom walk, and scavenger hunt. All activities will be outdoors. Space is limited, and registration is required. Camp organizers are also looking for volunteers. Email [email protected] for more information.
Audubon Christmas Bird Count– December 14-January 5
The Audubon Christmas Bird Count is December 14 through January 5 each year. Organized by the National Audubon Society, this global, all-volunteer effort collects data on local bird populations. Individual counts are open to birders of all levels, and there is no fee to participate. Several events are scheduled across the region.
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, and Trash Bash.
Conservation Note of the Month
The H-GAC Regional Conservation Initiative Priority Project and Toolbox mapping tool displays locations and details for H-GAC’s Regional Conservation Initiative Priority Projects and communities with parkland dedication ordinances. Conservation layers, including Federal Wildlife Easements and Local Parks, can be toggled on and off.
Unless otherwise noted, all meetings scheduled at H-GAC are at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, Texas. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, H-GAC will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities attending H-GAC functions. Requests should be received 72 business hours prior to the function. Contact the meeting organizer to make arrangements.
Banner Photo: Downtown Splendora decorated for the holidays. Photo by Marcus Tantillo
Would you like us to consider featuring your municipality, program, or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward your picture to Andrea Tantillo, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter.