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Special Announcement
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H-GAC Community and Environmental Planning Department Director Retires

After 35 years of service to the Houston-Galveston Area Council and the Houston-Galveston region, Jeff Taebel, FAICP, Director of Community and Environmental Planning, is retiring.

The staff at the Houston-Galveston Area Council, and especially in the Community and Environmental Planning Department, wish him all the best on his next adventure.
Upcoming Events
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable April 26 (In Person)

H-GAC’s next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 26. The event will be at the El Campo Civic Center, 2350 N. Mechanic, El Campo.

Check in and breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. with presentations and roundtable from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. A walking tour of downtown will follow. 
This event will be in person. Registration is requested. 
At this event, participants will discuss how cities can support new businesses and cultivate entrepreneurialism. 

Scheduled speakers are:
  • Carolyn Gibson, Executive Director, City Development Corporation of El Campo
  • Courtney Sladek, City Manager, City of El Campo
  • Amy Morales, small business marketing at Kapeesh Marketing LLC
  • Molli Bodungen, business owner and member of Women on Washington in El Campo
H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development interests promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas. 

For more information, contact Sarah Torresen.
Basin Steering Committee Meeting April 26 (Online)

The H-GAC Clean Rivers Program Basin Steering Committee will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 26.
The meeting will be online, and registration is required.

The meeting will include a preview of the Draft 2022 Basin Highlights Report and an overview of the FY23 coordinated monitoring schedule. There will also be updates on current Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Projects and Watershed Protection Plan (WPP) Development.  A draft agenda is available.

For more information, contact Todd Running or Jean Wright.
Annual Debris Workshop - May 5 (Hybrid)

Make plans to attend H-GAC's Annual Debris Workshop on Thursday, May 5.

The event is from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at H-GAC, second floor conference room and on Zoom.

Registration is requested to attend in person and required to attend online.
Topics for discussion include information on best management practices for disaster debris management and information on current state and federal regulations.

For more information, contact Erin Livingston.
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip - May 13 (In Person)

Join us for H-GAC's Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip at 9 a.m. Friday, May 13. We will meet at Clear Creek Nature Center, 1220 Egret Bay Blvd. N, League City, to learn more about the nature center and League City's award-winning Outdoor Education Initiative project.

Registration is requested.

For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo.
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Bacteria Implementation Group Spring Meeting May 24 (Hybrid)

Make plans to attend the Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) spring meeting on Tuesday, May 24. 

The meeting is from 1 to 3 p.m. at H-GAC, second floor conference room, and on Zoom.

Registration is requested to attend in person and required to attend online.
Topics will include the BIG Implementation Plan (I-Plan) revisions and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) updates.

For more information or to submit public comment, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.
April is Fair Housing Awareness Month, Economic Development Discussion Planned

April is Fair Housing Awareness Month, and H-GAC reminds everyone that when it comes to housing, the Federal Fair Housing Act makes it against the law to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or family status. This applies to both selling or renting housing.

Anyone who feels their fair housing rights have been violated should contact the U.S. Office of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) at 1-800-669-9777. For more information, visit www.hud.gov/fairhousing

Land Use and Zoning considerations within the scope of Fair Housing will be a topic of discussion during the Gulf Coast Economic Development District’s upcoming meeting on Friday, April 8. The meeting is from 10 a.m. to noon at H-GAC, second floor conference rooms, and on Zoom. Registration is requested to attend in person and required to attend online.

The Texas Workforce Commission Civil Rights Division conducts two monthly Fair Housing webinars. A Fair Housing Overview is presented the first Tuesday of each month, and a Fair Housing Reasonable Accommodations webinar is presented on the third Tuesday of each month. Both webinars begin at 10 a.m. Registration is required.
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H-GAC Adds Climate, Economic Justice Tool to Regional Equity Tool

H-GAC added the beta version of the Climate and Economic Justice Tool developed by The White House Council on Environmental Quality to H-GAC’s Regional Equity Tool  as one of the tabs. The tool identifies the disadvantaged communities (Census Tracts) in the H-GAC region that qualify for funding priority under the federal Justice40 Initiative, which committed to direct 40% of federal investments toward disadvantaged communities.

Disadvantaged Communities are those that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. These communities are at or above the thresholds in one or more of eight categories of criteria. Categories include:
  • Climate change;
  • Clean transit;
  • Clean energy and energy efficiency;
  • Affordable and sustainable housing;
  • Reduction and remediation of legacy pollution;
  • Critical clean water and waste water infrastructure;
  • Health burdens; and
  • Training and workforce development.
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H-GAC Posts Ecosystem Service Benefits Online

Ecosystems provide tangible services—including flood protection, air and water quality improvement, carbon sequestration, and water supply regulation—that are fundamental to human wellbeing. Using the current acreage of wetlands, prairies, and forests in each of H-GAC’s counties, H-GAC staff estimated the monetary value of these natural areas. These values can be used to make the argument in favor of protecting, restoring, or enhancing natural areas in communities.

H-GAC’s Regional Conservation Initiative supports conservation projects that maintain, restore and enhance natural areas in communities across the 13-county region.
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H-GAC Launches Regional Elected Officials Mapping Application

H-GAC’s new Regional Elected Officials Interactive Mapping Application is now available for use by residents and businesses within the H-GAC region.

This mapping application can be used to help users find elected officials for a specific address within the H-GAC 13-county region for federal, state, county, city, and other local levels of government. Information includes elected official’s position, current term, geographic boundaries, and website information.

Additional functionality, like drawing and adding other geospatial data, and printing and exporting results, are coming to the application soon.

All information within the application is as current as the latest certified election, but should users come across any official’s information that looks out of date or experience any errors with the application itself, there is a feedback form linked within the application.
Trash Bash® Welcomes Back Volunteers for 2022

The 28th Annual River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash® was held at 14 cleanup sites across the region on March 26, and event organizers said turn out across all sites was great.

Trash Bash®, the state's largest single-day waterway cleanup event, was cancelled (for the first time ever) in 2020 and was held as an on-your-own cleanup in 2021. Organizers and volunteers were pleased to return to a larger, organized multi-site event this year. Check out the Trash Bash® webpage to learn more.
Partner Announcements
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Houston APA (American Planning Association) Launches Inaugural Awards Program, Applications Close April 30
The Houston Section of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association recently launched a new awards program. The awards program is open to any community or organization in the Texas APA Houston section, and awards categories and criteria are designed to be similar to the state and national awards programs for ease of submittal and to give people the opportunity to use local awards for promotion and when pursuing funding or other awards.

More information about the awards, including categories and eligible project types, is available online. Applications are due on Saturday, April 30.
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The Great Texas Birding Classic Habitat Conservation Grants - Deadline May 1
The mission of the annual Great Texas Birding Classic is to increase appreciation, understanding, and conservation of birds through education, recreation, nature tourism, and conservation fundraising. The Birding Classic is a cost-recovery event, so once minimal event costs are covered by sponsorships and registration fees all remaining funds go to conservation grants in Texas. Conservation grants in the amounts of $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000 can be used to fund nature tourism and avian habitat restoration, enhancement, and acquisition projects anywhere in the state. Proposed activities may include projects on public or private lands, but all projects must provide some level of public access. The deadline for proposals is Sunday, May 1.
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Coastal Management Program Open for Pre-Proposals 
The Texas General Land Office is soliciting applications for the Coastal Management Program (CMP). CMP projects must address environmental concerns and promote economic development within the Texas coastal zone, which includes Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, Harris, and Matagorda counties. Grant Cycle 28 involves a competitive pre-proposal process followed by an invitation-only final application. Pre-proposals are due Wednesday, June 8. Join an upcoming applicant workshop to learn more:
Galveston - Tuesday, April 12
10 a.m. to noon
Rosenberg Library – Fox Room
2310 Sealy Ave., Galveston, TX 77550
Corpus Christi - Wednesday, April 13
10 a.m. to noon
Port of Corpus Christi Headquarters - Cape Conference Room
400 Harbor Drive, Corpus Christi, TX 78401
Virtual - Wednesday, April 20
10 a.m. to noon
More Upcoming Events
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Adopt-A-Beach Coastwide Cleanup – April 9
Save the date for the Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 9, at various Texas beaches. This annual event by the Texas General Land Office encourages volunteers to help keep beaches clean. Since the program began in 1986, more than 529,000 volunteers have removed 9,600 tons of trash from Texas beaches. Registration and a list of cleanup locations are available online. 
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DEA Prescription Take Back April 30
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host its National Prescription Drug Take Back event in communities across the country from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30. The national event aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the medications and the potential for abuse. A list of collection sites will be available on the DEA website.
Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference logo white words on a green background
Keep Texas Beautiful Annual Conference – June 27-29
Registration is open for the Keep Texas Beautiful 55th Annual Conference June 27-29 in Austin. Keep Texas Beautiful is a network of Texans working together to make the state the best place to live, work, and play. Local partners and affiliates are equipped with tools they need to help clean up and prevent litter across the state. The annual conference is an opportunity for participants to share, learn, and celebrate local, regional, and state accomplishments and programs and includes networking, field trips, educational sessions, awards presentations, and exhibits.
News and Notes
Update on Vince Bayou Greenway Project
(reprinted from Pasadena Pulse newsletter)

Work is underway on the first phase of design and land acquisition for the Vince Bayou Greenway project, funded by the Pasadena Economic Development Corporation (PEDC).

In 2020, PEDC initiated a planning study with the City of Pasadena, Pasadena Parks and Recreation Department, and Houston Parks Board to investigate a hike-and-bike trail along Vince Bayou. The trail would span from the City of Pasadena’s Memorial Park to Strawberry Park, creating a safe connection for pedestrians and cyclists between parks, homes, schools, and businesses in the area.

This trail was identified in multiple plans and studies, including the Pasadena Healthy Parks Plan and the Pasadena Livable Centers Study. The project is also listed on H-GAC’s Regional Conservation Initiative Priority Project List.
Funding Sources
Funding Sources

H-GAC's Community and Environmental Planning Department 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, conservation projects, and economic development resources.

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.
More Information and Programs
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.

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 RecyclingTrash Bash, and Regional Data Lab.
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 by Thushara Ranatunga.

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.
Houston-Galveston Area Council