July 23, 2012
Copyright © 2012
Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc.
Clearwater breaks ground for home port at Kingston Maritime Museum
KINGSTON – Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is building a winter port in Kingston, at the Hudson River Maritime Museum. Officials of both organizations held a ground-breaking ceremony at the waterfront Saturday afternoon, as part of the 4th Annual Hudson River Day festival.
Construction on the barn-like structure, built at a cost of $1 million, will begin on September 15 and be ready for use six weeks later.
Organizers plan to dry dock the famous sailing vessel, and replace the rear two-thirds of its hull during this upcoming winter.
For the first time in its 43-year history, Clearwater volunteers will enjoy heat and plumbing while performing maintenance work on the sloop during inclement seasons. Local wood salvaged from natural storm treefall was collected for construction material.
“I think this building has enormous potential,” said Clearwater Board President Allan Shop. “This is a wonderful collaboration that we're looking forward to in the next upcoming decades, I feel very optimistic,” he said.
Jeff Rumpf, Clearwater executive director, likened the partnership with the Maritime Museum to a marriage. “Today is a wedding,” he declared, naming founders Pete and Toshi Seeger as proud parents. “Everybody here is now part of our family,” Rumpf added.
“We hope that this boat will keep on sailing through the centuries,” said Seeger,” the 93-year-old musician and environmental organizer.
“I feel like someone who planted a seed. Some fall on fallow ground, and sprout, and grow, and multiply a hundredfold.”
Patrick McDonough, new director for the Maritime Museum, called the new home port “A really historic partnership."
Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo said that “partnership is really what we have to do now – not only to sustain our community, but make it grow, and embrace the future with a sense of cooperation.”Frances Dunwell, the state Environmental Conservation Department's estuary coordinator, said that Hudson River Day features 40 events this year, and will double in 2013 for the fifth anniversary. Dunwell explained the festival celebrates progress made cleaning up the Hudson. “This shows how state agencies, non-profits, local government, can all work together, to achieve a vision.” she said.
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