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Organize a Candlelight Vigil for a Cleaner Hudson

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The Hudson is an American Heritage River, an economic engine for tourism and outdoor recreation, and its waters provide food for fishermen and their families. It’s also one of the nation‘s largest hazardous waste sites. For six years, General Electric has been cleaning up toxic PCBs it dumped upriver. But later this year, GE plans on permanently dismantling its operations, leaving behind thousands of pounds of heavily contaminated sediments that eventually will flow downriver through our community and all the way to New York City. Even in small amounts, these toxic sediments are linked with impaired cognitive development in children, hormonal disorders and cancer.

Federal agencies have made it clear the leftover sediments will pose significant health and economic risks for generations if they’re not removed now.

The cleanup must continue—for the sake of our river, our children and our children’s children. The Campaign for a Cleaner Hudson, represented by Riverkeeper, Clearwater, Scenic Hudson, and NRDC, will be supporting vigils in several communities, including Beacon and Newburgh, on July 23, 2015, to promote a complete clean-up of PCBs in our Hudson.

If you are interested in organizing a Candlelight for a Cleaner Hudson event in your community, please use the information below to guide you through the process.

Steps for Organizing a Candlelight for a Cleaner Hudson event
1. Obtain necessary permissions/alert local emergency personnel about your event (if you have questions, contact your town clerk to find out more about the permits you may need to acquire)
2. Order candles, candle guards, and fire safe receptacles for events
3. Recruit 5-10 additional volunteers for help during candle lighting
4. Recruit a master of ceremonies (we recommend a local community leader, like your town mayor or a council person)
5. Send a personalized invitation to your friends and local elected officials, as well as county legislatures, executives and assembly & senate representatives (see below for a draft invitation)
6. Distribute fliers/posters through local churches, community and arts organizations, and civic leaders (contact Campaign for a Cleaner Hudson for generic posters)
7. Send a confirmation email to [email protected] so the campaign knows to list your event on their webpage.

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