Educational Initiative Aims to Create New Green Leaders

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, America’s Flagship Environmental organization, announced today its “Next Generation Legacy Project,” an ambitious educational initiative that will bring together school age children and young adults to train and prepare them to create a sustainable world with green jobs.

To create the next generation of environmental leaders, Clearwater is developing educational programs that focus on many of the elements necessary for a green economy. The programs will be based on Clearwater’s educational efforts that are already underway in the schools, on the shoreline and on the sloop Clearwater, with the initiative allowing longer and more intensive learning opportunities.

“The members of Clearwater and its founder Pete Seeger made history forty years ago when it launched the sloop and helped lead the effort to clean up the Hudson River, and today we’re making history again by launching this major initiative to create the next generation of environmental leaders,” said Jeff Rumpf, executive director of Clearwater.

Clearwater’s announcement came at a press conference held this morning at their main office here in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Divided into three phases along programmatic lines, the “Next Generation Legacy Project” will first be manifest at the Clearwater Center for Environmental Leadership, which will open its doors this May at the former University Settlement Camp in Beacon, NY. Eventually, Clearwater will establish eight Green Cities / Green Jobs Satellite Centers in Environmental Leadership along the Hudson River in partnership with local environmental and community groups between New York City and Albany.

Pete Seeger, the legendary folk singer and activist, said that teaching our young people to create a sustainable future is absolutely necessary. “The time is now or we will not, I fear, have a future for the human race,” he said.

Congressman John Hall (D-Dover), a former Clearwater Board Member said in a statement that was read at the press conference, “The ‘Next Generation Legacy Project’ is another important initiative from Clearwater.  I applaud Clearwater’s efforts to educate young people and create the next generation of environmental leaders.  In order to strive for a sustainable world, we must teach our future leaders about the importance of environmental stewardship, creating green jobs and a green economy.  I am confident that the ‘Next Generation Legacy Project’ will help to achieve this ambitious goal.”

Funding for the “Next Generation Legacy Project” will be attained through a mix of public and private grants, corporate contributions, individual donors and special events.

“We believe the environmental movement is just beginning, not ending, and we are going to be a major part of it,” said Allan Shope, president of Clearwater’s board of directors.