One of the state’s most iconic festivals celebrating nature and conservation will be coming to a new destination by the water. The New Jersey Friends of Clearwater’s annual Clearwater Festival will be held on the city’s boardwalk September 15th.

Mayor Adam Schneider and New Jersey Clearwater President Ed Dlugosz were on the boardwalk Friday to celebrate the beginning of the new partnership.

The festival- in it’s 38th year- spent the first 25 years in Sandy Hook until issues with the location forced the group to switch locations to Asbury Park’s coastline. However, they never were able to match a turnout there similar to Sandy Hook, which according to Dlugosz had up to twenty thousand visitors per day.

The chapter’s president notes Long Branch is an ideal location, just north of Pier Village.

“Our move to Long Branch is two fold; one, it’s a great location, the crowds are already ever present and the fact that we’re in a very safe environment along the ocean makes the potential for greater crowds and greater awareness for the public.”

Dozens of environmental groups addressing all aspects of conservation will have a presence at the festival, but Dlugosz says the festival also has food and craft vendors as well as a lineup of music ranging from rock to jazz to draw in the casual attendee.

“People who wouldn’t come to an environmental festival will come to a music festival.” Says Dlugosz “They’re the bait that brings people in and we talk in between acts and point them to the different organizations.”

Mayor Schneder notes that in addition to being an economic boon for the city- extending its summer season- the festival has a very important role in educating the public.

”This is a festival with a festival with a very important issue. It will be almost the one year anniversary of Sandy, which was a storm in part caused by climate change.” Adding “This is something that needs to be protected if people don’t take an activist role in the environment, the ocean, and the weather.”

The Clearwater Organization was established after a visit to Monmouth County from legendary folksinger and activist Pete Seeger in the early 70’s and named after his Sloop Clearwater. The NJFC is dedicated to promoting awareness of natural resources.