Origins

As a high growth area undergoig rapid urbanization, Durham Region has many environmental issues.

Through the years, numerous groups have been formed around specific issues: the Pickering airport, the 407, the 'Big Pipe' which carries York sewage to Lake Ontario, the 2 nuclear power plants, the Second Marsh, Thickson Woods, etc. Some of these 'battles' were successful, some not, and some are still on-going.

All of these fights would have been more successful if they had been better organized at the outset and been better funded.

As the fight to stop the garbage incinerator in Courtice heated up, the idea emerged of a 'big tent' advocacy organization to focus on an evolving range of environmental and related issues in Durham Region.

Out of a series of meetings, DurhamCLEAR was formed and incorporated in February, 2010. The founding directors were Doug Anderson, Pam Callus, and Paul Kuebler.

The primary focus of the new organization has been the incinerator, but the longer term goal is to leverage the momentum of that issue onto a wider range emerging environmental issues. The goal is to be able to respond vigourously to environmental threats at the outset so that their proponents rethink them and back off.

DurhamCLEAR has been organized on a committee system where individual committees will be formed around specific issues and strategies.

As new environmental issues arise, committees will be added. Existing organization are invited to align themselves and share information.

The committees will be the organization's principal 'operating' units. They will work under the umbrella of a central Board whose functions will be coordination, facilitation, communication and financial management.

In this way we can bring the numbers and resources of a large organization to bear on these 'local' issues.