Keeping you up to date on the community planning, economic development,
and environmental planning programs at H-GAC.
Your Monthly News & Updates
Upcoming Events
Basin 13 Map
Caney Creek TMDL Stakeholder Meeting - November 1

As part of the Brazos-Colorado Coastal Basin bacteria reduction project focusing on Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou, H-GAC will host a public stakeholder meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 1, at the Bay City Civic Center, 207 7th Street, Bay City. 

The meeting will consist of presentations, followed by an open house-style discussion period. Participation of local leaders and residents is crucial for for implementation of projects.

Topics for each meeting include:
  • presentation of the technical support document for Caney Creek and Linnville Bayou;
  • options for developing a bacteria reduction plan for the basin; and
  • continued identification of stakeholders to participate on a coordination committee to guide this effort.
Agencies are invited to set up an informational table for stakeholders. 

To RVSP to attend or reserve a table, please contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.  

Coastal Communities Logo
Coastal Stormwater Quality Education Workgroup - November 7

H-GAC will host the first Coastal Stormwater Quality Education Workgroup meeting from 10 a.m. to noon Wenesday, November 7, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

The purpose of this new workgroup is to bring together education and outreach partners and staff from local governments, water-quality nonprofit organizations, drainage and utility districts, MUDs, HOAs, schools, civic groups, and interested residents to facilitate comprehensive coordination and implementation of stormwater quality education and outreach in coastal communities in Brazoria, Chambers, Galveston, and Matagorda counties.

The agenda for this meeting includes visioning and goal setting for 2019, identification and coordination of outreach opportunities, and networking opportunities. For more information about this workgroup and to RSVP, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

Learn more about the Coastal Communities project.

Ghirardi WatrerSmart Park - 2014 Parks Awards Winner
Designing for Impact: Low Impact Development Implementation Workshop - November 7

H-GAC will host a Designing for Impact: Low Impact Development Implementation Workshop from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 7, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor.

The workshop will focus on some of the common challenges local communities face when implementing low impact development (LID) projects and policies. LID is an effective, economically advantageous approach to controlling stormwater and improving water quality. Attendees will learn how local governments can incentivize low impact development through their development codes and ensure features are properly installed and maintained.

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Joey Kaspar at 713-993-4547.

Parks and Natural Areas logo
Parks and Natural Areas Roundtable Field Trip - November 8

H-GAC's Parks and Natural Areas (PNA) Roundtable field trip will be Thursday, November 8, with a tour of three parks in Sugar Land. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. at Sugar Land Memorial Park and continues to Smart Financial Center Plaza and Brazos River Park. Sugar Land Memorial Park is at 15300 University Blvd., Sugar Land. We will meet at the pavilion near the lake and playground.

Transportation from H-GAC at 8:45 a.m. can be provided for up to 20 registrants.

The PNA Roundtable's mission is to assist in the development of public policy initiatives to expand parks and natural areas in the 13-county H-GAC region for the improved quality of life, habitat, and water quality. This group meets in a roundtable format, does not consist of a formal board, and is open to anyone interested in participating.

Online registration is requested. For more information, contact Andrea Tantillo at 832-681-2507.

Basin 11 Map 2017
Oyster Creek TMDL Stakeholder Meetings - November 8

As part of the San Jacinto-Brazos Coastal Basin bacteria reduction project focusing on Oyster Creek,  H-GAC will host a public stakeholder meeting from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, November 8, at the Brazoria County Library-Lake Jackson Branch, 250 Circle Way, Lake Jackson. 

This meeting will consist of presentations, followed by an open house-style discussion period. Participation of local leaders and residents is crucial the implementation of  projects.

Topics for the meeting include:
  • presentation of the technical support document for Oyster Creek;
  • options for developing a bacteria reduction plan for the basin; and
  • identification of stakeholders to participate on a coordination committee to guide this effort.
Agencies are invited to set up an informational table for stakeholders. 

To RVSP to attend or reserve a table, please contact Steven Johnston at 832-681-2579.  

Planning at the Edge wordmark
Fall Planning Workshop - November 9

H-GAC's annual Fall Planning Workshop will be from 8:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, November 9, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

This annual half-day workshop series for local governments features presentations on best planning practices for communities.

This year's workshop, Planning at the Edge, invites participants to join in a discussion with local cities and counties,especially unincorporated areas, experiencing growth and development. This workshop will focus on common issues, challenges, and potential management solutions.

The Houston Section of the American Planning Association (APA) is co-sponsoring this workshop and offering 4.0 CM credits for AICP continuing education.

Registration is requested. For more information, e-mail

pile of compost
Regional Recycling Roundtable - November 15

H-GAC's next Regional Recycling Roundtable will be from 10 a.m. to noon Thursday, November 15, at H-GAC Conference Room A, Second Floor. 

The topic will be composting as a recycling strategy. Presentations will include an update on commercial composting, an overview of the master composter program, and local municipal case studies.

This roundtable series provides education/outreach to bring new ideas and knowledge to local governments, solid waste businesses, and interested residents on a wide range of recycling-related topics.

Registration is requested. For more information, contact Becki Begley at 713-993-2410.

Smart Water Management for Small Water Systems logo. Water drop over words
Tools and Techniques for Resiliency and Strategic Planning: A Workshop for Small Water Systems and Local Leaders - November 29

Through the Smart Management for Small Water Systems Project, the Environmental Finance Center Network is hosting Tools and Techniques for Resiliency and Strategic Planning: A Workshop for Small Water Systems and Local Leaders from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, November 29, at H-GAC Conference Room B, Second Floor.

This workshop will provide tools to help water utilities identify risks and recognize opportunities to manage and plan for impacts. Techniques will also be shared to gather community and leadership support for resiliency initiatives. Attendees will learn how to identify critical community assets and assess their resilience, and apply techniques to gain support, manage conflicts and move projects and ideas forward. This workshop will be submitted to the state for credit hours for water system operators.

Registration for this free workshop is requested.

League of American Bicyclists logo
League Cycling Instructor Training - November 30 - December 2

The League of American Bicyclists is conducting a League Cycling Instructor training at the Houston-Galveston Area Council offices, Conference Room B, Second Floor from Friday, November 30, to Sunday, December 2. 

The training certifies instructors to teach Smart Cycling classes to children and adults to help them become more confident, safe, and intelligent cyclists. 

The deadline to register is Saturday, November 10. Registrants must be members of the League of American Bicyclists.To register and find more information about the process for obtaining certification, visit the League of American Bicyclists website or contact Clint McManus at 832-681-2513. Space is limited.

young boy picking up trash at Trash Bash
Trash Bash - March 30, 2019

The River, Lakes, Bays 'N Bayous Trash Bash will be from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, March 30, 2019. Save the date to join thousands of volunteers cleaning up trash and debris along area waterways. With locations across the Galveston Bay watershed, there's a cleanup site near home, work, or school. 

Trash Bash is made possible by support from individuals, organizations, and businesses. Consider supporting the event this year with a donation to the Texas Conservation Fund, the nonprofit organization that manages Trash Bash. With a new online donation button, it's easy for individuals to support area waterways.

The Right Path Trail-Oriented Development Primer wordmark
H-GAC Releases Trail-Oriented Development Primer

H-GAC announces the release of The Right Path: A Trail Oriented Development Primer. Communities across the country are investing in local trails and reaping the benefits of active transportation. This primer offers tools, strategies, and case studies that can set local governments and trailside property owners on the right path for fostering local trail-oriented development. It offers information on identifying candidate trails and parcels for new amenities and the site-specific strategies best-suited for each location.The primer can also be used to kick start conversations with local business owners, elected officials, economic development and tourism directors, planning and parks staff, and residents.

For more information, visit H-GAC's trail-oriented development webpages.

test-our great region awards
2018 Our Great Region Award Application Closes Soon

The Our Great Region Awards recognize outstanding projects in the region advancing the goals and strategies identified in the Our Great Region 2040 plan. 
The application closes Tuesday, November 16. Plans, programs, projects or policies that implemented a strategy of the Our Great Region 2040 plan within the 13-county H-GAC planning region in the past four years are eligible for submission. 

More information is available in the 2018 application guide or by contacting Amy Combs

Gulf Coast Economic Developmetn District Logo
Responses Requested: Broadband Availability Survey

The Gulf Coast Economic Development District (GCEDD) is working to enhance broadband access in the region, in accordance with the region's Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. To better understand the region's broadband needs, the GCEDD is conducting
a survey of broadband availability.
This survey takes under a minute to complete. The more responses the GCEDD receives, the better the understanding of the regional broadband network will be. 

For more information, contact Joshua Owens at  832-681-2613. 

9-1-1 Call if you can text if you can't thought bubble in a cell smart phone
Text-to-9-1-1 Services Now Available in Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Liberty, Matagorda, Walker, Waller, and Wharton Counties

The Gulf Coast Regional 9-1-1 Emergency Communications District (GCRECD) announces the availability of Text-to-9-1-1 service in Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Liberty, Matagorda, Walker, Waller, and Wharton counties, allowing cell phone users with a text or data plan to send a text message to 9-1-1 for assistance when they can't make a voice call.
Text-to-9-1-1 services should only be used in an emergency when the person needing assistance is unable to speak or hear. Text-to-9-1-1 provides an alternative when speaking out loud would put the person in danger, such as during an abduction, active shooter, home invasion, or domestic situation. The traditional method of calling 9-1-1 remains the fastest, most effective way to reach help.

Text-to-9-1-1 can't identify a user's location, so the first text should include an address and the nature of the emergency. Users will receive a text back from the 9-1-1 call taker. 
Text messages should include simple language and should not include abbreviations, slang, pictures, or emojis. Anyone driving should not text and drive but should pull over to a safe location before texting 9-1-1. 

Text-to-9-1-1 is supported by all major cell phone carriers. Users in an area where Text-to-9-1-1 service is not available, will receive a 'bounce-back' message telling them to make a voice call. 

For more information, visit

Partner Announcements
America Recycles Day logo
America Recycles Day Event Calendar 
For almost two decades, communities have come together on November 15 to celebrate America Recycles DayMore information about scheduled events is available online.

Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence
2019 Call for entries overlaid on a urban design background
Applications are being accepted for the Ruder Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, a national design award celebrating transformative places that contribute to the economic, environmental, and social vitality of American cities. One Gold Medal ($50,000 cash award) and four Silver Medals ($10,000 cash award) are awarded each biennial. To be eligible, projects must be urban, built, and located within the contiguous United States. Applications may be submitted by anyone involved with the project. The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday, December 12.

Take Care of Texas Video Contest
Take Care of Texas Proud Partner Logo
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 14, and the public will have the opportunity to pick their favorite videos January 10-24, 2019. The middle and high school students who win first place will be invited to travel to Austin, along with their teacher, parent, or guardian, to be recognized by the TCEQ and Waste Management of Texas, Inc., at the 2019 Environmental Trade Fair and Conference.

Scenic City Applications Available
H-GAC and Scenic Texas support vibrant, healthy communities across the state. Partnering with Scenic Texas to form the Scenic City Certification Program
has been a natural fit for H-GAC, and cities and towns with strong infrastructure standards prove to be resilient, distinctive cities known for a strong sense of civic pride and well-positioned for economic growth. See the full roster of certified Scenic Cities and review program requirements by exploring The 2019 application is now available for review, and the 2019 application period is January 1-March 31, 2019.

More Upcoming Events
Brazoria County Parks Department Fishing Event
Brazoria county parks logo seal
The Brazoria County Parks Department, Texas Parks and Wildlife and Bass Pro Shop are hosting a fishing event for youth ages 3 to 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 3, at Bass Pro Shops, 1000 Bass Pro Drive, Pearland. The free event will provide hands-on activities and education. Registration is required. For information and to register, contact Mike Mullenweg at

America Walks Webinars 
America Walks Logo
America Walks is hosting free monthly webinars at 1 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month. These webinars look to expand knowledge, highlight success stories, and share new tools and resources. Registration is required. Upcoming webinars include Where Do We Go Next? Mapping and Tracking in the Future, November 14; and On a Sustainable Path: The Role of Walkability in Addressing Climate Change, December 12.

Gulf of Mexico Alliance Wednesday Webinars 
Gulf of Mexico Alliance Logo
The  Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) is hosting a Wednesday Webinar series at 2 p.m. the last Wednesday of every other month. Join to learn about resources and projects from around the Gulf. Preregistration is not required. The final webinar in the series will be Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) Detection (Kate Hubbard), November 28. 

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Master Gardeners Composter Training
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service logo
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Fort Bend County Master Gardeners Association are hosting a three-day composter specialist event from 10 a.m. to noon December 5-7 at the AgriLife Extension Office, 1402 Band Road, Suite 100, Rosenberg. This training is sanctioned by the Texas Master Gardener program, and the 24 attendees will receive the title of "Composter Specialist." More information, including an agenda and registration, is available online.
News and Notes
Livable Centers Brochure Cover
H-GAC Livable Centers Plan Recommendations Earn Recognition

Recommendations from two Livable Centers projects earned recognition with Urban Land Institute Houston Development of Distinction Awards.

Levy Park earned recognition in the Urban Space category. The park renovations stemmed from recommendations in the Upper Kirby Livable Centers Study. Avenida de Las Americas earned recognition in the Not-for-Profit category. The pedestrian promenade and reduction of vehicular lanes for enhanced community space were recognized and were recommended as part of the Downtown/EADO Livable Centers Study.

Livable Centers are places where people can live, work, and play with less reliance on their cars. Livable Centers, with concentrations of residential and employment, support more trips by foot, bicycle, transit, or carpool. H-GAC's Livable Centers program works with local communities to identify specific recommendations, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities, that can help spark the creation of Livable Centers.

Funding Sources
America Walk Logo
Community Change Grant

America Walks annual Community Change Grant is seeking applicants for small funds for community improvements that create more active, engaging places. Successful applications should demonstrate how their project will inspire people to walk in and around their communities. Applications are due Friday, November 2. Visit the America Walks website to apply.

Installing an OSSF
H-GAC Wastewater Assistance Program Helps Homeowners

H-GAC's Wastewater Assistance Program offers funding for the repair or replacement of conventional septic or aerobic wastewater systems in the 13-county H-GAC planning region. Homeowners who meet certain income restrictions are eligible.

For more information, contact Brian Sims at 713-993-2438 or learn more about maintaining these systems online.

AirCheck Logo
Financial Assistance Available Through Air Check Texas

The AirCheck Texas - Drive a Clean Machine Program is designed to help motorists in Brazoria, Fort Bend, Harris, Galveston, and Montgomery counties comply with vehicle emissions standards. 

AirCheck Texas offers financial incentives to repair or replace currently driven vehicles. An applicant will receive both a financial and environmental benefit while contributing to air quality solutions by removing older vehicles from Texas roadways. 

For more information, visit or call 832-681-2527.

Rural Utilities Service Water & Environmental Programs

The USDA's Rural Utilities Service's Water and Environmental Programs (WEP) has $165,475,000 in supplemental grant funding available for repairs to drinking water systems and sewer and solid waste disposal systems impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

Applications will be accepted on a continual basis until funds are exhausted. Entities wishing to apply for assistance or needing additional information should contact:

USDA Rural Development State Office
Federal Building, Suite 102
101 SouthMain, Temple, TX 76501
(254) 742-9700/TDD (254) 742-9712

Local water and sewer departments having workforce challenges to recruit and retain qualified workers within our region are encouraged to contact Traci Nolen at 713-993-2468.

US Economic Development Administration logo
EDA Harvey Recovery Grants

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Austin regional office received $129,119,000 in supplemental funding for disaster relief and is actively seeking projects to help communities in the Houston-Galveston region recover from Hurricane Harvey. 

The recently released Notice of Funding Opportunity outlines the requirements, which include the following:
  • Projects require a 20 percent match, which can include in-kind contributions
  • Typical projects will range from $1-$2.5 million
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis
  • Must demonstrate a nexus to Harvey in terms of economic recovery or resilience
  • Eligible applicants include governments, nonprofits, and universities
For more information, contact Robert Peche of the EDA.

Tree with $ Money
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.

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.
Community and Environmental Planning Programs
GIS Globes
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 to see the latest information, including Census, Regional Forecast, and more.
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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, Trash Bash, Regional Data LabBacteria Implementation Group (BIG), West Fork Watersheds Partnership, and Cedar Bayou Watershed Partnership.

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Find the latest information about activities around the region at H-GAC's Twitter feed @hgaccog. H-GAC's water resources program also offers Twitter updates on water quality issues in the region @HGACwater.
Banner Photo by Cheryl Mergo.

Would you like us to consider featuring your municipality, program, or regional photo on the C&E Planning Update banner? Just forward Andrea Tantillo your picture, along with some information about the subject and the photographer, and you might see it in a future month's newsletter.  
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