Target: Pete Seeger
Goal: Commend and remember activist and singer Pete Seeger for his environmental efforts
Pete Seeger was an inspirational singer-songwriter who passed away on January 27, 2014 at the age of 94. Seeger, who has been in excellent health for most of his life, continued to perform on stage until his death; his latest concert was months before his passing. Seeger even performed during President Obama’s inauguration concert in Washington, D.C. Many of his performances benefited the community, where the profits from concerts went towards clean water advocacy groups and other environmental organizations. He also fought for worker’s rights, civil rights, world peace, and environmental conservation.
Seeger and his wife Toshi Alina Ota – who also passed away recently – both founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, and an environmental protection organization, and the Great Hudson River Revival, an annual music and environmental festival that took place in New York to raise awareness about the river. During the 1940’s, Seeger became popular over the radio waves as a member of the band The Weavers, and later made the song, “We Shall Overcome” the national anthem for the civil rights movement in America. Seeger was later inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is an organization dedicated to reviving the river. Seeger and his friends constructed a sloop, a replica of the 18th and 19th century ships that sailed along the Hudson River, as a movement meant to entice citizens to come to the river and be moved to preserve its beauty. The move proved to be a huge success. The sloop brought more than a half million people to care about the Hudson estuary and the river. Seeger and the Clearwater crew also sailed the sloop to Washington D.C. where Congress was debating on the Clean Water Act. The singer personally delivered a petition that held thousands of signatures to Congress, and a few weeks later, in 1972, the Clean Water Act was passed despite a veto from then President Nixon.
Because of Seeger’s contribution U.S. waters are now cleaner and more fishable, swimable, and drinkable than they were before the Clean Water Act was passed. Seeger was a contributing voice to this law and his passion shouldn’t be forgotten. His legacy lives on in the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Inc. where the sloop servers as a sailing classroom, laboratory, musical stage, and forum. This man who has fought so valiantly for our environment should be commended and thanked for his efforts.
Dear Pete Seeger,
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the major contributions you’ve made to ensure that the Clean Water Act was passed. I realize that our own waters would not be this clean or drinkable if it weren’t for your valiant efforts. I am deeply moved by the love and passion you have for our environment and I hope future generations will learn to love it too. I am saddened by your passing, but know that this is what happens to all life.
I sincerely hope that your legacy lives on in both your organization and your offspring. Unfortunately the fight for ensuring that our waters stay clean and drinkable has not ended, and probably never will. You have contributed to this fight and are an inspiration to those fighting for our environment. May you rest in peace.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dxede5x via Wikimedia