For over 45 years, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champion of the Hudson River, working to pass landmark legislation like the Clean Water Act, and providing innovative educational programs, environmental advocacy, and musical celebrations, including the renowned annual Clearwater Festival, to inspire, educate, and activate millions of people.
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit, member- supported corporation whose mission is to preserve and protect the Hudson River. As an organization, Clearwater works to provide innovative environmental programs, advocacy, and celebrations designed to inspire, educate and activate the next generation of environmental leaders.
In 1966, folk music legend and environmental activist Pete Seeger, in despair over the pollution of his beloved Hudson River, announced plans to “build a boat to save the river”. At the time, the Hudson was rank with raw sewage, toxic chemicals and oil pollution; fish had disappeared over many miles of its length. Seeger believed a majestic replica of the sloops that sailed the Hudson in the 18th and 19th centuries would bring people to the river, where they could experience its beauty and be moved to preserve it. Inspired by that vision, the 106-feet-long sloop Clearwater was built and launched in 1969. The sloop was among the first vessels in the U.S. to conduct science-based environmental education aboard a sailing ship, creating the template for onboard education programs conducted around the world today.
Since the launch of the sloop Clearwater, more than half a million people have experienced their first real look at the Hudson River estuary’s ecosystem aboard the sloop. Clearwater’s environmental education programs now serve more than 15,000 students annually, and educate over 200 teachers each year through SUNY New Paltz, Pace University and other regional higher learning institutions. The sloop Clearwater, America’s Environmental Flagship, was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 for its role in the environmental movement. Today, Clearwater is carrying forward Pete Seeger’s legacy, partnering with schools and community leaders to raise the bar of environmental education, realizing that this time the health of the Hudson River must go hand in hand with creating a sustainable world of green jobs in a green economy. Clearwater’s unique approach to public outreach has made the sloop Clearwater a symbol of grassroots action through hands-on learning, music and celebration.
Each summer, Clearwater re-connects Hudson Valley residents with their cultural heritage and traditions by bringing them down to the river for the Great Hudson River Revival, the country’s oldest music and environmental festival. The organization and its local sloop clubs also sponsor smaller local riverfront festivals throughout the year. The organization’s unique approach to public outreach has made the Clearwater a symbol of grassroots action through hands-on learning, music and celebration.
Please visit www.clearwater.org for more information.