The overall goal of CLEAR is to unite the region around efforts to make this area more climate-resilient and environmentally progressive and sustainable. Everyone has a role to play in this effort.
In 2012, the University of Mary Washington began a Climate, Environment and Resiliency (CLEAR) partnership with businesses, nonprofits, public agencies and interested residents throughout the Region. The University champions this effort out of an understanding that the Region’s natural systems form a foundation that is critical to the health of our people and our economy, and that climate resiliency is critical to protecting our residents, institutions and infrastructure.
What We Must Protect The George Washington Region is one of the fastest-growing in the state. And while this growth has in some ways brought economic opportunity and improved quality of life, it has also resulted in a loss of climate buffers including open space, forested areas, and habitat for wildlife. It has also taxed our region’s transportation networks and other public infrastructure. A significant increase in impervious surface has overburdened our stormwater management systems and poses threats to the quality of our waterways. Combined with the effects of global climate change, these threats put us in a climate-vulnerable situation and make it imperative that we act now to protect our region.
To this end, CLEAR hosts forums and convening events such as “A Climate of Change” featuring speakers from our region and beyond, facilitating dialogue to help us become more resilient by bringing businesses, non-profits, planners and elected officials together to work on issues of climate change, natural resources, green space planning, food hubs, clean energy and more. Our outreach events engage all sectors of the public in discussion of our region’s progress and needs and help inform sustainability presentations to and requests of local elected officials and planners.