In an obituary published by Bloomberg, Seeger’s influence on artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Bob Dylan – along with his overwhelming role in the emergence of folk music – are prominently cited. Seeger’s life and accomplishments could, and have, stretched across several volumes – with his voice booming through more than 100 albums and thousands of concerts & hootenannies. Seeger even performed at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration where he was joined in a performance of This Land Is Your Land by Bruce Springsteen.
When we at FridgeFilters.com remember Seeger, what will resonate most strongly is what he meant to the clean water movement.
In 1966, Seeger and his wife founded the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, an organization dedicated to protecting the Hudson River and surrounding wetlands. Clearwater, known for its hard-to-miss boat and impromptu concerts by Seeger and his banjo, was instrumental in supporting the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972. Seeger was named a Clean Water Hero in 2002, in fact, for his efforts in support of this major initiative.
Seeger’s influence on the cleanliness of the Hudson River is difficult to sum up in just a few words, but this quote from writer Michelle Nijhuis perhaps comes the closest:
The river was dirty, and now it’s cleaner. What’s wrong is being righted. What’s impossible is possible.
As recently as this year, Seeger took on another clean water issue by becoming a vocal opponent against fracking – a controversial practice where thousands of gallons of highly pressured water are pumped into the ground to extract natural gas. Seeger joined the likes of Neil Young and Dave Matthews to protest this practice at Willie Nelson’s Farm Aid just this September.
When we think of Pete Seeger going forward, we’ll remember the lifetime of music and activism dedicated to the well-being of so many that depend on clean drinking water. Fortunately, the video below that will play out this post – a clip of Seeger well into his 90’s playing This Land Is Your Land at an anti-fracking protest – allow us to remember everything this man encompassed all at once.
An RIP and a thank you to Pete Seeger, a true clean water hero, on behalf of all of us at FridgeFilters.com.
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