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Regional Round-up

The Sierra Club has created a new national award that bears the name of Dr. Robert Bullard, Dean of the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston and one of the founders of the environmental justice movement. The new award will be given annually to an individual or group that has done outstanding work in the area of environmental justice.The first Robert Bullard Environmental Justice Award will be presented Nov. 21 along with the Sierra Club’s other 2014 awards.

The Lower Rio Grande Valley Sierra Club ran the numbers, and the four proposed Brownsville Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) export terminals will produce as much nitrogen oxides annually as all the vehicles on the road in Cameron County. Find out what other pollutants the natural gas export facilities could bring to the Valley in this column by Sierran Stefanie Herweck.

If you live near Dripping Springs, mark your calendar on August 15 for the Better Lights for Better Nights Conference, a daylong event designed to educate and inform attendees about the advantages and importance of using artificial light at night only where and when it’s needed.

In Austin, the Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter joined with The National Wildlife Federation and The Nature Conservancy to encourage Texans to contact the Texas Water Development Board as it decides how to spend $2 billion in a state water project fund established with the passage of Proposition 6 last year. “Texans have a chance in the next few weeks to weigh in on these rules to assure that water conservation is the top priority in meeting our state’s water needs,” said Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair of the Lone Star Chapter. The deadline to comment is September 1.

Don’t let the summer heat scare you away. Texas Parks and Wildlife is encouraging the nature lover in you to enjoy canoeing and kayaking in a state park or along a designated Texas Paddling Trail. There are more than 60 designated and well-mapped paddling trails in Texas. There are accessible day trips in a variety of settings and for all levels of paddling experience. Check out their convenient list of trails links here.

About halfway between Fort Worth and Abilene, the Palo Pinto Mountains State Park will open in a few years’ time. It encompasses more than 4,000 acres of former ranch land in the Cross Timbers region and straddles the Stephens and Palo Pinto County line. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is hosting a public meeting on August 7 to hear from citizens regarding the kinds of facilities and recreational uses being considered.

The fourth annual National Drive Electric Week will be held in cities across the country, including San Antonio, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and Austin. The goal of this event, scheduled Sept. 15-21 and organized by Plug In America, Sierra Club and the Electric Auto Association, is to raise awareness of the fun and benefits of electric cars through test drive events and related activities. Click on the links above to register and/or volunteer. Don’t see your city listed? Contact Melissa Goldberg at Melissa.goldberg@sierraclub.org.