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

Texas Trustee Implementation Group Calls for Restoration Project Proposals

The Texas Trustee Implementation Group (Texas TIG) is calling for new or revised restoration proposals by August 31, 2016 in preparation for the next phase of Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) restoration planning.

Restoration funds allocated to the Texas TIG must be used for five specific restoration types. Early Restoration projects are already funding bird and sea turtle restoration types. Therefore, the Texas TIG is prioritizing current restoration planning efforts on restoration types that were not addressed previously:

1) restore and conserve wetland, coastal, and nearshore habitats;
2) restore water quality through nutrient reduction (nonpoint source); and
3) replenish and protect oysters.

The Texas TIG will also consider projects for engineering and design that focus on the three restoration types mentioned above. The focus will be on these restoration categories, however the Texas TIG will continue to consider any important opportunities for additional restoration and protection of avian resources and sea turtles. All projects will be evaluated using the criteria established in the NRDA regulations (15 CFR 990.54).

Approximately $47.6 million is currently available for restoration project funding in Texas this year. In addition, over the next 15 years, the Texas TIG will receive approximately $124.8 million in additional restoration funding. The current restoration planning effort may utilize all or part of these funds. The Texas TIG may propose both discrete restoration projects as well as one or more programmatic restoration efforts. Each of the projects and programmatic efforts may require multiple years to complete and they may be funded in part by restoration funds received in the future.

Please submit your proposal by August 31, 2016 to be considered by the Texas TIG for the draft restoration plan expected to be released in spring 2017. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please contact TXDWHNRDA@tpwd.texas.gov.