Blog : Oil and Water: Legends of Grassroots Action

By Katelyn | Oct 27, 2015 | in

In the 1970s, Aristotle Onassis of Olympic Oil tried to build a refinery in Durham with a pipeline through Rye to the Isle of Shoals, this would have been the world’s largest oil refinery. A small group lead by Nancy Sandburg, Sharon Meeker, Dudley Dudley, Phyllis Bennett and many others took up the cause to refuse the development. After months of controversy, residents rejected to change Durham zoning laws to allow the 400,000 barrels-per-day oil refinery and tank farm covering 3000 acres of the town.

On November 17 at 6:30 p.m., three of the early activists at the forefront of the fight will share their efforts, strategies and tactics. Nancy Sandberg and Sharon Meeker of Save our Shores, and Dudley Dudley NH Legislative Representative from 1972-1976 will explain how New Hampshire fought the refinery and Virginia Prescott of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth” will moderate the event. This interactive event will explore how those original strategies are being implemented today in other struggles and community efforts.

The event is co-hosted by the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspire, connect, and support community-based environmental projects throughout New England. NEGEF helps local, often informal, grassroots groups and those too new to qualify for support from the private and community foundations and makes grants directly to these groups.

The event will be held on November 17 at the Newmarket MillSpace, 55 Main St., Newmarket; doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the program begins at 7:00 p.m. The Joinery will provide hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar will be available.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and children. Proceeds will help support grassroots environmental efforts through the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and the Lamprey River Watershed Association.

Click here to learn more about the New England Grassroots Environmental Fund and to register for the event.