pedestrian bridge over waterway
Upcoming Events
Broadband Planning Tool Event - May 13 (Online)

H-GAC will host A More Connected Region: H-GAC's Broadband Planning Tool launch event from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday, May 13.

The event will be online, and registration is required.
Participants will learn how to use H-GAC's new broadband planning tool to pursue funding and hear success stories from around the region related to high-speed internet infrastructure and increases access to devices and service.

For more information, contact Jillian Donatto
Chocolate Bay Stakeholder Meeting - May 18 (Online)

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 in Galveston and Brazoria counties--to attend a stakeholder meeting from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 18.
The event will be online, and registration is required.

Attendees will hear from H-GAC staff concerning the state of water quality in each bayou and actions being taken to improve them. H-GAC is forming a committee to develop an action plan to reduce fecal bacteria and will be asking for your assistance.

For more information, contact Steven Johnston.
Solid Waste Workshop- Recycling - May 20 (Online)

H-GAC's next Solid Waste Workshop will be from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Thursday, May 20.
The event will be online, and registration is required.

Join us as experts from around the region and the state discuss ways to manage the difficult aspects of your recycling program.

Topics include:
  • Starting a new program
  • Keeping a facility going
  • Reducing contamination

H-GAC's solid waste workshops focus on in-depth studies of different topics each quarter. For more information, contact Erin Livingston.
Bacteria Implementation Group Meetings - May 20 and May 25 (Online)

The Bacteria Implementation Group (BIG) Coordination and Policy work group will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 20. The event will be online, and registration is required. The work group will review and discuss the BIG Spring Meeting Agenda which includes the 2021 Annual Report Update and Implementation Plan Revision Update.

The BIG Spring Meeting is from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 25. 

The event will be online, and registration is required.
The BIG will review the status of the 2021 Annual Report and receive an update on the Implementation Plan Revision. The City of Houston will present on their Green Stormwater Incentives Program. The University of Houston at Clear Lake will present on their Targeted Monitoring Project. H-GAC staff will provide updates on local and regional projects that support BIG bacteria reduction strategies.

For more information or to submit public comment, contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.
Texas Clean Rivers Program
Semi-Annual Basin Steering Committee Meeting – June 2 (Online)

The semi-annual Clean Rivers Program Basin Steering Committee meeting will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 2.

The event will be online, and registration is required.

Presentations include the 2021 Basin Summary Report (BSR), the FY 2022 Coordinated Monitoring Schedule (CMS), the results of the Monitoring Efficiency Study, the results of the Targeted Monitoring Project, and updates on the Bacteria Implementation Group, and various TMDL and Watershed Protection Plan projects. 

For more information, to submit public comment, or to receive call-in information, contact Jean Wright.
Spring Creek Watershed Protection Plan Public Meeting - June 3 (Online)

H-GAC and the Spring Creek Watershed Partnership will hold a public meeting at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 3, to discuss the incorporation of community-driven strategies for water quality into the first draft of a Watershed Protection Plan.
The event will be online, and registration is required.
More information about this project is available online or by contacting Rachel Windham.
Annual Disaster Debris Workshop - June 9 (Online)

H-GAC will host the 2021 Disaster Debris Workshop from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 9.

This meeting will be online, and registration is required.

This free workshop will focus on Debris Management Preparedness, including:
  • Emerging Trends in Disaster Recovery
  • Public Information Strategies Following a Disaster
  • Technology in Disaster Recovery
  • Best Practices in Preparedness Initiatives

The workshop will also provide participants with an opportunity to discuss concerns and share lessons learned from their past debris management response and recovery efforts.
For more information, contact Erin Livingston.
Livable Centers Call of Study Sponsors with silhouettes and megaphone
H-GAC's Livable Centers Call for Study Sponsors Notice of Intent to Apply Due Soon

H-GAC's call for planning study sponsors for the Livable Centers Program is open, and the Notice of Intent to Apply is due this month. Sponsors are limited to local governments or other eligible entities.

This is not a request for proposals from consulting firms.

All eligible sponsors must complete a Notice of Intent to Apply by Thursday, May 27. Final applications are due Thursday, July 29.

H-GAC seeks to identify and fund Full Livable Centers studies and, for the first time, Focused Livable Centers studies. Full Livable Centers studies will be scaled at a community level, and Focused Livable Centers studies will focus on a smaller geographic area and/or specific issue (e.g., transit-oriented development, first/last mile connections).

The proposed study must be in Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, or Waller counties.

More information about deadlines and specific application content is available online or by emailing [email protected].
H-GAC Celebrates National Bike Month

May is National Bike Month, and H-GAC kicks off a month of fun and educational activities on Tuesday, May 4, with a webinar hosted by H-GAC's Executive Director Chuck Wemple and Houston BCycle’s Executive Director, Bryan Reed. The event will include a panel discussion with Bike Houston, Houston BCycle, Rice University, the City of Houston, the City of Sugar Land, and The Woodlands Township, including an unveiling of H-GAC’s new online CycleSavvy, a virtual cycling safety training course.

We'll conclude Bike Month on Thursday, May 27, with a virtual closing ceremony with H-GAC’s Transportation Director Craig Raborn and Bike Houston’s Executive Director Joe Cutrufo and announcement of Bike Month’s prize winners.

More information is available on H-GAC's Bike Month website.
Trash Free Texas logo
Trash Free Texas Newsletter Keeps You Updated on Litter Prevention News

In April, H-GAC released the second issue of the Trash Free Texas Monthly News and Updates.

This monthly newsletter offers information about Trash Free Texas, an initiative by the Houston-Galveston Area Council and partners aimed at reducing or eliminating litter along area waterways. The newsletter also features litter reduction efforts from our partners across the region.

Join our mailing list if you are interested in receiving this monthly update or sharing news about your litter reduction activities, or submit your stories about past or future litter reduction activities.
screenshot of aerial imagery
H-GAC Releases Aerial Imagery for Public Sale

H-GAC recently released the 2020 regional aerial imagery for public sale. This latest aerial imagery was captured during the leaf-off season of 2020 and is now available by individual tile, county, any combination of tile and county, or the entire regional coverage at 13,500 square miles. This aerial imagery data is heavily relied on by the GIS and engineering communities to plan for growth and expansion within our region. The imagery is available in 6-inch and 1-foot resolutions and in true color (RGB) or infrared color (CIR).
For additional details, coverage maps, and pricing, visit the H-GAC Aerial Imagery website.
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 or email [email protected] and learn how H-GAC can help your business.
Partner Announcements
Texas Main Street Designation Applications Open
The Texas Historical Commission is accepting applications from cities interested in becoming designated Main Street Communities. Each year, the Commission may select up to five cities for official designation. Communities selected this year will enter the program in January 2022. Main Street is an economic development program focusing on small business development using historic preservation and reuse of historic properties as primary tools. Full applications are due Friday, July 30. Main Street communities in the region are Bay City, Houston-Emancipation Avenue, Huntsville, and Sealy.
EPA Releases Updated Tool to Help Communities Protect Recreational Waters
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released an improved web-based app to help communities identify potential sources of pollution in recreational waters. The Sanitary Survey App for Marine and Fresh Waters empowers communities to protect the health of swimmers and recreators from contaminants at lakes, rivers, and beaches while supporting the vitality of water-based economies. EPA recognizes the role of community participation in supporting robust water quality datasets, and this updated tool allows citizen scientists to provide data on sources of pollution in a watershed and information on potential harmful algal blooms in surface waters that public health officials need to protect a community. Updates to the tool include monitoring for fresh waters and photo storage, geolocation data, and links to weather-related websites. The web-based app does not require the use of the Internet or WiFi to use. EPA will host training webinars on the App from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on May 12, May 25, and May 26. 
Upcoming Events
Trash Summit logo
2021 Trash Summit - May 5
The next annual Houston-Galveston Regional Trash and Marine Debris Trash Summit, presented by the Partners in Litter Prevention, will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 5, on Zoom. Registration is required. Details and agenda will be available closer to the meeting date.
Texas in blue with Texas Citizen Planner printed in the panhandle area
Texas Citizen Planner Webinar on Floodplain Management - May 24
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services announces a new specialty course for Texas Citizen Planner covering the No Adverse Impact (NAI) approach to Floodplain Management. The webinar will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, May 24. Registration is required. The free webinar covers planning, implementation, and legal aspects of NAI. The NAI approach ensures the action of any community or property owner, public or private, does not adversely impact the property and rights of others.
Keep Texas Beautiful Virtual Conference - June 29-July 1
Keep Texas Beautiful will host a virtual conference - Texas 2021: Leading Sustainable Transformations in Our Communities - from June 29 to July 1, with pre-conference sessions on June 28. The virtual conference is an opportunity for community leaders across the state to attend innovative keynotes, panels, and sessions that tackle environmental topics like waste reduction, recycling education, and more. The sessions will be held in the afternoons. Registration is required.
EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference - August 8-12
EPA Region 6 is hosting the Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference August 8-12 in New Orleans, Louisiana. There will also be 450 virtual registration slots available. The conference provides participants national, regional and state updates on water regulations and policy, as well as information on stormwater controls, water conservation management practices, and new technologies that can address stormwater pollution discharges to surface waters. Early onsite registration is $300 through June 1, and virtual registration is $225.
News and Notes
Houston-Galveston Region Communities, Individuals, and Organizations Receive Keep Texas Beautiful Honors

Congratulations to the City of Friendswood for winning first place in Category 7 of the 2021 Governor's Community Achievement Awards by Keep Texas Beautiful, in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). This year, the City of Friendswood and nine other winning communities across the state will share $2 million in landscaping awards from TxDOT, with the amount based on population size. The funds are used for landscaping projects along local rights-of-way. Other communities in the region were also recognized, including Bolivar Peninsula, Richwood, Santa Fe, Angleton, and La Marque.

Congratulations to Bridget Maloney of Dickinson for winning the Sadie Ray Graff Educator award from Keep Texas Beautiful's 2021 Beautify Texas Awards. This award recognizes the efforts of educators that provide instruction/programming to Pre-K through college students to encourage youth involvement and promote the KTB mission through environmental education.

Congratulations to the Galveston Bay Foundation, Kemah, for winning the Public Education and Outreach Award. This award recognizes public awareness and education efforts of civic organizations and city/county/state government departments in print and/or electronic media in supporting environmental issues.

Congratulations to Keep Sugar Land Beautiful Youth Advisory Board for winning the Ruthe Jackson Youth Organization Award. This award recognizes the efforts and leadership of youth-oriented organizations to beautify the community and create cleaner, greener campuses, parks, and neighborhoods.
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, conservation projects,  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 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 HGAC functions. Requests should be received 72 business hours prior to the function. Contact the meeting organizer to make arrangements.

Banner Photo: Pedestrian bridge over Mustang Bayou in National Oak Park, Alvin. Photo by Steven Johnston.
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