Natural environment and habitats

While many new and developing technologies offer promises of progress toward sustainability goals, most often we need look no farther than nature to find the tools we need. Forests and open spaces can help purify our air and water, and aid in stormwater management. Protecting the habitats of native species ensures the stability of our Region’s ecosystem, and can help prevent invasive species from taking root.

Economic development

By focusing economic development efforts across the George Washington Region on companies and industries that have both growth prospects and a demonstrated potential to contribute to the goals outlined in this plan, we can pursue sustainability goals while also strengthening our Region’s economy. Examples of industries to pursue include clean technology, green buildings, materials management and recycling, local food and sustainability services and education, along with other emerging sectors. Many opportunities also exist to assist our current top employers in improving their emergency management plans and resiliency and in greening their operations.

Disaster planning and emergency preparedness

Promoting a community-wide understanding of the changing weather patterns, potential resource shortages and other threats our Region faces as a result of climate change is important at both the institutional and individual levels. We must promote awareness of the changes that are coming and provide tools and forums to help government agencies, schools, businesses, neighborhoods and households prepare for these threats.

Community resilience

All of these strategies will contribute to the overall resilience of our Region. Resilience should become a goal that is part of the decision-making process in all public policy matters, and also in private business and individual matters. CLEAR will seek to promote ways that all of these groups can promote resilience through their actions. CLEAR will also promote greater awareness of these issues, through education at the K-12 level, outreach to the business community and with an overall communications effort directed at every sector of our Region.