News & Bulletins

Sloop Clearwater Sails The Hudson, Its Cargo a Revolutionary Global Document
November 6, 2001

Ellary Eddy at 914-659-0713
Andy Mele at 914-204-0030

On a crisp and beautiful fall day, an extraordinary document boarded the great Hudson River sloop Clearwater, for a symbolic journey downriver under full sail.

The wind was blowing 30 mph as the Charter, handprinted on a scroll of papyrus and housed within a striking handcrafted and handpainted chest known as the Ark of Hope, was carried aboard the Clearwater. Having been walked by various teams of supporters from Burlington, Vermont to Garrison, the Ark is now secured atop the main cabin, as the Clearwater (itself an Ark of Hope) wends its way through the Hudson Highlands to Manhattan with Ark walkers and Clearwater crew aboard.

Destined to become known as a remarkable work of vision, The Charter was initiated at the Earth Summit of Rio in 1992. Since then it has been further crafted and refined (by countless groups from the grass roots level on up to world leaders) into a `People´s Treaty´- a document comprising 16 basic principles, from social and economic justice, to environmental sustainability to world peace. The Charter aspires to be a `Declaration of Interdepence´, a mandate for a higher level of global responsibility and cooperation on the part of all signatories.

This initiative, which has been spearheaded in the U.S. by Steven C. Rockefeller (Professor Emeritus of Religion at Middlebury College, Vt.) is rapidly becoming actualized as countless associations (both non-governmental and governmental) and individuals across the planet are adding their signatures.

There is a surprisingly diverse and distinguished group of supporters, including Mikhail Gorbachev, Princess Talal of Jordan, Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers of Holland and Jane Goodall. The ultimate mission is to gain acceptance from all nations, all institutions, and all peoples of the world.

Inspired by the Earth Charter, artist Sally Linder decided to transform what to her was a disembodied, intellectual concept into a palpable and resonant work of art as well, hence - the Ark Of Hope: a large box built of sycamore (sustainably harvested in Germany) and painted with scenes presenting the themes of biodiversity, global harmony and multiculturalism. Also included within the Ark are over 300 small but stunning handmade books created by dozens of students of all ages, each inspired by the Charter and its universal themes.

The Ark, the Charter, and the 300 artist´s books are headed for an exhibition at the United Nations, where it is hoped the Charter will be signed by the General Assembly in 2002.

The Clearwater will be arriving at the 79th street boat basin on Thursday at 11am. Media representatives are welcome.

For more information, please visit:

  These images may be used at no cost by media outlets for publication. Please credit photo(s) `Andy Mele/Clearwater´
Click on images for hi-res versions.

Sailing past West Point
Clearwater Sloop sailing past West Point with the Ark of Hope aboard, flying only the jib because of high winds.

Group Shot
A group shot of Ark walkers and Clearwater crew.

Loading the Ark
Loading the Ark aboard Clearwater.

The Ark Up Close
The Ark up close, with the route it will take down the Hudson in the background.

The Ark Up Close
Clearwater Sloop with the Ark against the Hudson shore.

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