August News You Can Use

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Air Quality in Texas


Texas lays claim to the most extensive, aggressive air monitoring program in the nation. Despite its fast-growing population, Texas has seen significant air quality improvement over the last ten years. Successes include:

For more information, please visit TCEQ Air Quality Successes and Air Monitoring Sites.

4 Fun Ideas to Keep Kids Busy

School is just around the corner, and kids are back from camp and other summer adventures. You’re probably hearing, “I’m bored!” If you are running out of ideas to keep kids entertained (and want to limit their video game or TV time) read on! We’ve listed four eco-friendly activities that are fun for the whole family, easy on the budget, and help Take Care of Texas. 

#1 Keep Cool, Get Down Under


Did you know there are at least 3,000 known caves and sinkholes in Texas? Show your kids ways to keep our water clean and how to help protect these natural resources by teaching them how water recycles and best practices for protecting groundwater for Texas’ underground environments.

As the thermometer rises, plan on getting low to enjoy the natural delights of Texas down under. Caving tours are offered at Colorado Bend State Park and Kickapoo Caverns State Natural Area. Other public caves offering an amazing variety of speleothems (rock formations), fossils, and history include: Cascade Caverns and Cave Without A Name (both near Boerne), Caverns of Sonora (Sonora), Inner Space Cavern (Georgetown), Longhorn Cavern (Burnet), Natural Bridge Caverns (New Braunfels), Wonder Cave (San Marcos), and West Cave, a botanical preserve and travertine (limestone) cave near Austin. The Caverns of Sonora is considered by many to be the most beautiful cave in the world. Enjoy the cool, clean air of Texas down under.

#2  Build Your Own Rain Barrel 


Talk to your kids about how we use water every day. It's good for drinking, for washing, for cleaning (ugh!), for swimming, and for lots of other things. But do they ever think about where our water comes from? With our state’s continuing drought, growing population, and limited supply of both groundwater and surface water, even little Texans need to use water wisely. And rainwater harvesting is a great way kids can learn about the environment while helping parents cut water bills. Download our free publication, Rainwater Harvesting with Rain Barrels, today.

#3  Make A Rain Gauge


Yes, it’s August, and it’s hot and dry in Texas.  It’s also the best time of year to do a little rain dance with the kids to take their mind off the heat. Get them excited about how much rain will eventually fall in your backyard. As they wait for it to fill up during the next big thunderstorm, they can make a chart to keep track of how much rain falls in a week or a month. Use this helpful Rain Gauge Project guide. For more ideas on how you and your family can conserve and protect Texas water, visit the Texas Water Development Board’s Kid’s Page.

#4 Give Kids the Moon, the Stars, and a Meteor Shower!


Our great air quality makes it easier to see the starry night sky so kids can better appreciate the universe around them. Do your part to keep Texas air clean with these steps your family can take. Then, get outside to see this year’s best meteor shower!

The Perseids will peak on the nights of August 11 and 12. Plan to stay up late, and visit a state park or other area away from the glow of city lights. Perseid meteors will appear to "rain" into the atmosphere from the constellation Perseus, which rises in the northeast around 11 p.m. Once you have settled in, lie back or position yourself so the earth’s horizon appears at the edge of your peripheral vision, with the stars and sky filling your field of view. Meteors will instantly grab your attention as they streak by.

Find Texas star parties


Texas Environmental Excellence Awards

Know of a great environmental project? The TCEQ is now accepting applications for the 2014 Texas Environmental Excellence Awards!  The Texas Environmental Excellence Awards recognizes deserving organizations and individuals across Texas for their efforts to preserve and protect the environment.  Nine award categories include Water Conservation and Education. Learn more, view videos of previous winners, and apply today at


Pledge to Take Care of Texas!


We’ll send you a FREE State Park Guide

Whether you want to cool off in a Texas cavern or stay up late to watch falling stars, our Texas State Park system offers it all. This guide showcases more than 90 state parks and many of the scenic recreational opportunities that Texas has to offer.


Highlighted TCEQ Publications

Rainwater Harvest Pub

Rainwater Harvesting

Homeowners and landowners can build simple or complex systems to capture, store, and use rainwater to water their landscape plants.



You Can Take Care of Texas Too!

This free poster is designed for kids K-2 and features Take Care of Texas mascots River and Sky.

For more free environmental education materials, please visit the Take Care of Texas publications page. Fill out the form and scroll down to find images and details about posters, stickers, activity books, coloring sheets, and bookmarks.


Take Care of Texas is now on Twitter!  


Follow us, re-tweet, and tell your friends and family how they can help spread the word about ways they can Take Care of Texas.

Like us on Facebook and listen to Kevin Fowler’s great song about how we can all help Take Care of Texas!  Connect to learn about environmental events, tips, and interesting stories from fellow Texans.


TCEQ 2013 Water Quality/ Stormwater Annual Seminar 

Don't forget. Mark your calendar for the Water Quality/Stormwater seminar scheduled for October 3-4, 2013. Register today! 


Tips for Back to School


1. Go through last year’s supplies and reuse what you can, like your backpack, pens and pencil holder.

2. With your parents’ permission, walk or ride your bike to school.

3. Pack a waste-free lunch: Take a lunchbox and thermos to school every day.

4. Use mechanical pencils and refillable pens.

5. Use both sides of the paper.