July News You Can Use

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Have a Safe Summer

Summer is here, and that means it’s a great time to get outdoors. Whether you're in the backyard, hitting the pool, or enjoying Texas’ clean rivers, lakes, and bays, here are some ways to help keep you and your family healthy and safe this summer.

sunscreen

When outside, make sure to protect yourself from the sun. Applying sunscreen 30 minutes prior to going outside can ensure that it stays applied when around water. For the best results, look for sunscreens that contain both UVA and UVB protection.

Also beware of bugs. Warmer temperatures attract mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas which can transmit diseases like West Nile and Lyme disease. To keep pesky bugs away, apply a repellant that contains DEET or oil from lemon eucalyptus. Mosquitos are attracted to standing water, so toss out any open container from your yard that you can do without.

bbq pit

When having a backyard barbecue, be sure to keep food and drinks in separate coolers. Preheat grill for 20 to 30 minutes before using. To ensure the meat has cooked completely, check the internal temperature by using a meat thermometer. Also make sure you comply with any local burn bans

kid in floaties

Use caution when swimming. Children are strongly encouraged to wear life jackets while swimming in lakes and rivers. Be aware of the surroundings when swimming, like sudden drop offs, nearby boats, or rocks. Never swim alone. Water may look calm but have a strong current under the surface. For more information, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Don't forget about your pets! If they are outside on a hot day, make sure they have a shady spot. Doghouses are not good shelter during the summer, because they trap heat. Fill a child's wading pool with fresh water where your pet can cool off. Never leave a pet in a closed vehicle on a hot day; the temperature inside a car can rise to over 100 degrees in just a matter of minutes.

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Visit Your Coastal Parks

No better time to visit the beach now that it’s summer. With over 300 miles of the gulf coast shoreline stretched across Texas, there are many destinations to explore. See the Parks and Wildlife website for a map and to reserve campsites.

Sea Rim State Park

Sea Rim Park
  • Five miles of beach equipped with a new boardwalk and adjacent campground
  • Boardwalk offers adventure and wildlife viewing for the trail’s fish, as well as alligators and turtles
  • A rental cabin overlooking the marshland was just recently opened to visitors

Goose Island State Park

Goose Island Park
  • 44 brand new shade shelters for campers
  • 1,620-foot pier for a variety of saltwater species  including redfish, black drum, speckled trout and flounder for anglers
  • “The Big Tree” that has survived more than 1,000 years and is 44 feet high

Mustang Island State Park

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  • Five mile coastline with 48 water-electric campsites
  • One of the only two Texas parks that allows you to drive on the beach
  • Paddling trails that snake through lagoons and marshes along the edge of Corpus Christi Bay

Port Isabel Lighthouse State Historic Site

Port Isabel
  • One of the state’s oldest, still-accessible lighthouses 
  • Just 75 steps to the top for a bird’s-eye view of the bay, causeway, and distant South Padre
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Pledge to Take Care of Texas and receive a FREE park guide with more information about all state parks.

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Adventure Across the Lone Star State

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The Texas Nature Challenge provides creative ways to enjoy state parks and nature centers this summer. Remove invasive plants at Hermann Park’s Bayou Parkland, or try a scavenger hunt at the Austin Nature & Science Center.

Six regions throughout the state ensure opportunities for all Texans. If you document and complete the challenges, you might even win a prize!

Free Cleanup Kits

Texas Waterways

H-E-B/Central Market have partnered with Keep Texas Beautiful to create the Keep Texas Waterways Clean program. Organizers of cleanup events can utilize the program’s FREE cleanup kits and marketing materials. From sample press releases to customizable flyers, the program’s website has everything you need to make your event a success. The deadline for events is October 31, so get started now.

Tips to Keep Cool

thermostat

Cooling and heating accounts for more than half of the average utility bill.

TIP: Use a pre-set schedule on a programmable thermostat to reduce energy consumption. To operate properly, a thermostat must be on an interior wall away from direct sunlight. Furniture will block natural air movement, so do not place pieces in front of or below your thermostat.

TIP: Look for blackout curtains to put in your home. They help keep your home cool during the hot summer months.

Visit the TakeCareOfTexas.org savings calculator to estimate how much money you can save by making some simple changes.

Air Pollutant Watch List

TCEQ removes an additional two sites after successful efforts to reduce contaminants.... See the Natural Outlook article

Order classroom materials now!

Visit the Take Care of Texas website to order your posters, activity books, stickers, and more.

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