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Sloop Clearwater holding April 19 press conference in LOB LCA room
Text of press conference.

Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
724 Wolcott Avenue, Beacon, NY 12508
(845) 265-8080 ▪ FAX (845) 831-2821

Media Contacts:
Stephen Kent,, 914-589-5988
Dave Conover, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, 845-265-8080 ext 7104


(Re)Making Environmental History
Fighting for Federal Clean Water Protections Now Under Threat, the Sloop Clearwater Will Sail to Washington, DC

WHAT? A press conference at Albany’s LCA Press Room with a range of New York environmental, NGO, public sector and community leaders, kicking off a new initiative to stand up for clean water protections which are now threatened or have been rolled back. It will announce that for the first time in decades, the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater will sail to Washington DC with a “cargo of concern” to represent the vital interests of New Yorkers and all Americans in strong federal water protections and science-based policy.

It’s a reprise of historic events in 1970, when Pete Seeger sailed the newly built Clearwater to Washington and held a forum on clean water issues on Capitol Hill. That became a turning point in the fight for the Clean Water Act, which Congress passed in 1972. This year, Clearwater will set sail for Washington from the Clearwater Festival in Croton, NY on June 18, arriving in late June, when it will hold another clean water forum on Capitol Hill. As Pete Seeger said of the 1970 Clearwater sail to DC, “we’re going to Washington because the problems of the American rivers can’t be solved by people like me who live on them. Only the federal government has the power to enact and enforce the laws that are needed.”

But in recent months the federal government has retreated from that responsibility, with executive orders allowing coal mining waste to be dumped in streams, and repealing inclusion of tributaries and headwaters under Clean Water Act protections. Clean water is a key part of EPA’s mission, and it makes a critical contribution to protecting it in New York and nationally. But the White House budget proposal would cut EPA clean water programs and grants to states by 30%, damaging New York's rivers (including the Hudson), lakes, and drinking water. The new EPA director rejects established science on anthropogenic climate change, yet climate change is also a water issue, since increased droughts and runoff from storms harm water quality, water supplies and water infrastructure. Threats to America’s water are growing, not shrinking, and call for the federal government not to retreat, but to step up with more robust protection based on sound science.

Water pollution and water itself know no boundaries. They cut across all communities, interests and political persuasions. From headwaters to the ocean, from Flint, Michigan to Newburgh and Hoosick Falls, New York, all waters are connected and all must be protected. In partnership with many NGOs and elected officials standing with us, Clearwater’s presence in Washington will provide a much needed channel for broad-based public concern and focused public education on the urgency of protecting America’s most vital natural resource.

WHO? A cross section of New York environmental, public sector and community leaders working on water protection issues will speak and answer questions at the press conference. They include:

• Hayley Carlock, Director of Environmental Advocacy, Scenic Hudson
• Dave Conover, Interim Executive Director, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater
• Daniel Jeanson, Project Coordinator, National Heritage Area, Hudson River Valley Greenway
• Joseph Martens, former NYSDEC Commissioner, now Senior Fellow, Open Space Institute
• Kathy Nolan, MD, MSL, Senior Research Director, Catskill Mountainkeeper
• Tom Porter (Sakikwenio'nkwas), founder, director, elder and spiritual leader of the Kanatsiohareke Mohawk Community
• Lemuel Srolovic, chief of the Bureau of Environmental Protection, New York State Attorney General's office

WHEN & WHERE? The press conference will take place 10:00am Wednesday, April 19 in the Legislative Correspondents’ Association Press Room, Room 130, Legislative Office Building, 198 State Street, Albany, NY 12210. For further information, including archival clips and footage of the 1970 Clearwater DC sail and forum, or to request side interviews, please contact Stephen Kent,, 914-589-5988.

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