Upcoming Events
Annual Storm Debris Workshop - January 7 (Online)

H-GAC will host the 2020 Disaster Debris Workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, January 7.

This meeting will be online.

This half-day workshop will focus on Debris Management Preparedness in Challenging Times, including:
  • The challenges of COVID-19 on solid waste staffing, collections, and disposal.
  • Health and safety precautions in conducting debris management operations considering COVID-19 or other infectious disease outbreaks/pandemics.
  • Recent changes in disaster debris and public assistance regulations and guidance.

The workshop will also provide the participants with an opportunity to discuss concerns and share their best practices and lessons learned from their past debris management response and recovery efforts.

Registration is required. For more information, contact Erin Livingston.
Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable - January 26 (Online)

Save the date for H-GAC's next Bringing Back Main Street Roundtable scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, January 26. 

The meeting will be online.

This roundtable will feature the Texas Department of Agriculture's Community Development Block Grant (TxCDBG) programs available to rural communities for a wide variety of downtown revitalization projects. Recent awardees of TxCDBG funds will share their stories.

H-GAC hosts quarterly roundtables to help local governments, chambers of commerce, and economic development promote the economic revitalization of downtown areas.
Registration is required. For more information, contact Cheryl Mergo.
Texas Clean Rivers Program
Basin Steering Committee Meeting - January 28 (Online)

The Clean Rivers Program Basin Steering Committee will meet twice in 2021—January 28 and May 25. The first meeting will be from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, January 28.

This meeting will be online. 
This first meeting will focus on the draft 2021 Basin Summary Report and the draft FY2022-2023 Workplan and Budget. 

Registration is required. For more information, contact Todd Running.  
WISE Awards and Parks and Natural Areas Awards logos stacked
Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards and WISE Awards – February 5 (Online)

Save the date for the combined Parks and Natural Areas Summit and Awards and Water Innovation Strategies of Excellence (WISE) Awards to be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday, February 5.

This event will be online.

The event will include the annual Parks and Natural Areas Awards recognition ceremony. These projects serve as models for planning and project implementation for parks and natural areas in the region. Projects will be honored in three categories: Planning Process, On-the-Ground Projects Over $500,000, and On-the-Ground Projects Under $500,000. 

H-GAC will also honor the winners of the WISE Awards, recognizing innovative strategies and projects in the Houston-Galveston region that serve as models for improving water quality.

Registration is required.
Solid Waste Workshop Focusing on Household Hazardous Waste – February 24 (Online)

Mark your calendar for the next a Solid Waste Workshop be from 8:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday, February 24.

This event will be online, and the topic will be household hazardous waste.

H-GAC's solid waste workshops focus on in-depth studies of different topics each quarter.

Registration is required.
Trash Free Texas: Adopt-A-Spot Training - February 25 (Online)

Save the date for a Trash Free Texas: Adopt-A-Spot training from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, February 25.

The training will be online and will teach participants how to use the updated Adopt-A-Spot online tool, including how to submit new locations for adoption and how to become a waterway cleanup volunteer. 
This training is a part of H-GAC’s Trash Free Texas project. For this project, H-GAC has partnered with the North Central Texas Council of Governments and theMeadows Center for Water and the Environment to establish a unified, coordinated approach to litter abatement and community engagement in the six river basins in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Galveston regions. 
Registrationis required. For more information, contact Kathy Janhsen
Trash Bash - March 27 (Online)

The River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash is being re-imagined for 2021 to protect volunteers and their families. The event is still set for the week of March 27, 2021, but will feature educational videos about watersheds, sources of pollution, and ways to keep our waterways clean.

Cleanups are encouraged on an individual family level but will not be hosted at our normal Trash Bash sites. Save the date and learn how to be a good steward of our Galveston Bay watershed, from backyard to bay.

Trash Bash hopes to welcome everyone back in person in 2022.
Map with legend  - screen shot of employment density application
H-GAC Launches Regional Employment Density Web Mapping Application

H-GAC recently published Regional Employment Density, a new web mapping application.
The application displays regional employment in 1-square-mile hexagonal grids, including hotspots for high employment concentration areas. Users can explore data using filters by industry sector and county. The source of the employment data is US Census LEHD Workplace Area Characteristics (WAC) 2009-2017
Coastal Communities Project Shares Awareness Materials

Coastal Communities works to provide communities resources and opportunities to reduce pollution concerns in area waterways. One of the resources is the Coastal Communities Roadmap with free outreach messaging communities can share with residents on different topics, such as illegal dumping, pet waste, and FOG (fats, oils, and grease).

A full year’s worth of messaging is available, with two messages each month in four formats (social media graphic, web banner graphic, flyer, and bill insert).

All messages are free to download, and communities are welcome to add their logo/branding to all messages.

For more information, contact Kendall Guidroz.
Small Business Financing Opportunities through H-GALDC

Serving as H-GAC’s small business financing arm, the Houston-Galveston Area Local Development Corporation (H-GALDC), is able to help new or established small businesses access capital to purchase and develop real estate. With interest rates at all-time lows, now may be the time to move your business from a lease to a mortgage.

H-GALDC also leverages funding from the Small Business Administration and the Economic Development Administration to offer a variety of loan products. Loans can range from $25,000 for working capital to over $5,000,000 for the purchase of land and new construction.
For more information about H-GALDC and its resources visit hgaldc.com, or email [email protected] and learn how H-GAC can help your business.
Partner Announcements
Protect Our Pipes City of Houston Public Works
City of Houston Launches Protect Our Pipes Campaign
The City of Houston’s new Protect Our Pipes campaign provides resources to educate residents on how they can help prevent sewer overflows in their community. Visit www.protectourpipes.org for more information and to download flyers, infographics, fact sheets, and videos for online and print distribution. You can contact the campaign at [email protected]
mocking bird
Audubon Christmas Bird Count
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.
Flood Mitigation Project Clearinghouse Now Available 
The Texas Water Development Board, the Texas General Land Office, and the Texas Division of Emergency Management launched a website with information on flood mitigation funding opportunities for Texas communities. The site includes an online Request for Information Form that entities can submit to get feedback on what state and federal financial assistance programs could be the best fit for their flood mitigation needs. The site also includes funding opportunities, general project and entity eligibility by program, upcoming events related to flood mitigation financial assistance, and other resources. For local governments interested in using the clearinghouse to access project ideas, visit the Texas Flood Clearinghouse website or call 512-463-8725. 
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Resilient Texas Website 
Texas communities working on long-term recovery from Hurricane Harvey can find Infoshare resources at Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service's new Resilient Texas website. Visit the site for both new and previous information shared in weekly emails. FEMA's Texas Recovery Office partnered with AgriLife on the site and will continue to provide resources both in email and for the website. 
Free Technical Assistance Available for Brownfields 
Kansas State University Technical Assistance to Brownfields program provides free site re-use planning and visioning services, and site inventory and prioritization assistance to local governments that don't have the resources to get this done on their own. This assistance is usually enough to "start the ball rolling," for developing strategies and to attract funds to do more extensive planning work and to redevelop brownfields. For more information, contact Blase Leven, the Program Coordinator at Kansas State University, at 785-532-0780. 
Get Involved With Trash Free Texas 
Trash Free Texas strives to keep trash out of area waterways by working with communities and organizations across the state to connect people to places that need routine litter cleanup activities. Local governments and organizations can get involved by using the Adopt-a-Spot online interactive mapping application
Funding Sources
Funding Sources

H-GAC has compiled a list of local, regional, state, federal, and private funding sources for local governments and other organizations. H-GAC also maintains a list of ongoing funding opportunities for parks improvements and economic recovery 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 BashRegional Data LabBacteria Implementation Group (BIG), and West Fork Watersheds Partnership.

Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed @HouGalvAreaCog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region @HGACwater.
Unless otherwise noted, all meetings scheduled at H-GAC are at 3555 Timmons Lane, Houston, Texas.

Banner Photo: Area residents enjoy the warm weather and walking trails around Memorial Park in Houston. 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