PRESS RELEASE: Mayor Sylvester Turner proclaims Wed., February 22, 2017 as Houston Wilderness Day!

Happy Houston Wilderness Day! Yesterday the City of Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Council Member Jack Christie and other city council members proclaimed Wednesday, February 22, 2017 as Houston Wilderness Day.

Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Staff  Paddlers pass through Buffalo Bayou Park during the 15-mile Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta. 

Photo: Michael Ciaglo, Staff

Paddlers pass through Buffalo Bayou Park during the 15-mile Buffalo Bayou Partnership Regatta. 

Ten years ago on February 22, 2007, the City of Houston declared a Houston Wilderness Day in recognition of the creation of the organization and its initial work to educate the public on the 10 ecoregions in the Greater Houston area. Since February 22nd, 2017 marks the 10th anniversary of the first Houston Wilderness Day. Today we are honored to celebrate our efforts over the past 10 years to promote, protect and preserve the biodiversity in our 10 ecoregions through convening, problem solving and educating with over 100 organizations in our region.

Today the Houston Chronicle ran an article called

"Perrin, Blackburn: Celebrating a 'green' vision for Houston, with much work still ahead." 

See an excerpt below.   

"Our region is a diverse metroplex composed of forested headwaters and bayou greenways that cross dwindling prairies as they meander - and at times, rush - toward coastal baywaters, islands and oyster reefs. Urban/suburban development and major urban ports are nestled among these ecoregions - 10 in all, making Greater Houston one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country. This collective ecosystem abundance and biodiversity is also known as "Houston's wilderness," and it's a richness we are celebrating with Houston Wilderness Day...."

To see the full editorial visit Houston Chronicle by clicking the link below.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Perrin-Blackburn-Celebrating-a-green-vision-10949216.php

Past week, over $50 million in environmental grant applications in Greater Houston Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 April 25, 2016
Contact: Deborah January-Bevers
deborah@houstonwilderness.org
(713) 524-7330 x 205

Past week, over $50 million in environmental grant applications in Greater Houston Region were submitted to TCEQ to fund projects that will reduce flooding and improve habitat, quality of life and economic development

HOUSTON, TX, April 20, 2016 – This past week over $50 million in grant proposals benefiting the eight-county Greater Houston Region were submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to be considered for funding under the RESTORE Act, part of the gulf oil spill recovery plan. The total amount available for funding under TCEQ’s current request for RESTORE applications is $56 million (www.restorethetexascoast.org).

 As part of a two-year effort to create the first-ever 8-county Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan (Gulf-Houston RCP), over 50 partners collaborated together to submit the 14 respective projects, ranging in amounts from $750,000 to over $12 million. These projects allow for hundreds of acres in restored prairies, riparian corridors along 14 creeks and bayous, coastal wetlands, reforestation and nature-based pedestrian trails (see attached Joint Letter of Support from the Gulf-Houston RCP Steering Committee and map of the project locations). 

The past week provided plenty of evidence of why these projects are critical to the Greater Houston Region. Upstream prairies and coastal wetlands significantly help prevent flooding of homes and provide hurricane storm surge protection. One acre of prairie land can absorb 9 inches of rainfall per hour before runoff occurs, and will intercept as much as 53 tons of water during a 1-inch per hour rain event. Large-scale tree planting also absorbs tons of water and significantly cleans the air and water in our region.

 The Gulf-Houston RCP (www.gulfhoustonrcp.org) collectively identifies our region’s most pressing environmental needs with projects organized into five (5) key initiatives.

  1. Bayou Greenways Initiative 
  2. Headwaters to Baywaters Initiative 
  3. Prairie Conservation Initiative 
  4. Galveston Bay Habitat Acquisition & Easements Initiative  
  5. Galveston Bay Oyster Reefs & Migratory Bird Habitat Initiative 

 

In addition to the flood control, and water/air quality benefits, the funding and implementation of projects in the Gulf-Houston Regional Conservation Plan will sustain and improve the ecological infrastructure of the Gulf-Houston region and provide the backbone for sustainable growth and economic development as Greater Houston becomes the 3rd largest City in America and the Texas Gulf Coast continues to provide major ports for the United States.