ALBANY – To commemorate Pete Seeger’s centennial and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater’s 50th anniversary this month, both houses of the New York State Legislature are adopting a resolution honoring the achievements of the legendary folksinger/activist and the iconic sailing sloop and environmental organization he founded.
Pete Seeger was born on May 3, 1919, and the sloop Clearwater he conceived and helped build was launched May 17, 1969. The Assembly voted on the Seeger/Clearwater resolution last Monday and the Senate voted on it May 7, at the end of the day’s legislative session.
The resolution reads: “WHEREAS Pete Seeger’s legacy lives on through education programs, advocacy work and special events like the Great Hudson River Revival, and the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is celebrating its 50th Anniversary as one of New York State’s most effective, visible and beautiful sailing vessels; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, that this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the launching of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Pete Seeger; and be it further RESOLVED, that this Legislative Body pauses further to applaud and commend the contributions of Clearwater in its untiring work to preserve the Hudson River and its watershed for future generations.”
The resolution was sponsored and introduced in the Senate by Senator Jen Metzger, and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Jonathan Jacobson.
“Pete Seeger has left an indelible imprint on the American music landscape and on the physical landscape of our country,” said Senator Metzger. “Not only did his environmental activism through the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater serve to protect the Hudson river, it also helped move forward the Clean Water Act in 1972 and his tireless advocacy for environmental justice can be seen today as we work in the legislature to address the climate crisis.”
“Pete Seeger’s legacy goes far beyond his music,” said Assemblyman Jacobson. “All of us who live in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State owe him a debt of gratitude for his environmental activism, including the creation of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater which works to protect the Hudson River every day.”
Clearwater representatives including board chair Stephen Smith and environmental director Manna Jo Greene attended the May 7 Senate vote, and spoke immediately afterwards in the adjacent Senate Chamber about the 50/100th anniversary, how Seeger’s work is ramifying and how Clearwater is continuing his legacy.
“Clearwater is honored by this recognition from the Legislature,” said Williams, “and we’re mindful of our responsibility to further Pete’s mighty legacy. We continue to apply his guiding philosophy – educate, advocate, celebrate – with on-board environmental education programs, environmental advocacy work which continues to protect the watershed, and Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival which builds community and celebrates life along the River.”
Jen Metzger represents the 42nd Senate District, which includes all of Sullivan County and parts of Delaware, Orange, and Ulster Counties. Senator Metzger serves as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and sits on the Environmental Conservation, Education, Health, Energy and Telecommunications, Local Government, Women’s Issues, Domestic Animal Welfare, and Legislative Commission on Rural Resources Committees.
About Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
Launched in 1969 by legendary folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater has been at the forefront of the environmental movement as champions of the Hudson River. To date, more than half a million people have experienced their first real look at an estuary’s ecosystem aboard the sloop Clearwater. Clearwater has become the grassroots model for producing positive changes to protect our planet. For more information, visit www.clearwater.org.