The Potomac Riverkeeper Network’s Parker patrol boat has been repowered with a new 225-hp outboard courtesy of Yamaha Rightwaters.
The organization will use the boat for pollution surveillance and to take water samples of the Potomac River — the source of drinking water for approximately seven million people.
“The greatest legacy we can leave for our children is access to clean water,” said Potomac Riverkeeper Dean Naujoks in a statement. “Safe-guarding the nation’s river from pollution is a responsibility we take seriously — it is the lifeblood of our region and our patrol boat is the workhorse of our program.”
Yamaha Rightwaters stepped in with Marine Evolutions “at exactly the right time to make sure we were on the water to carry out our mission as soon as possible,” said Naujoks, adding that the group is incredibly grateful for the support.
The boost in horsepower will allow Naujoks and his team to carry more equipment and people on the boat — critical at a time when the river has seen such a big spike in recreational activity, the group said.
“More people are looking to the river as a safe way to recreate and stay socially distant,” said Naujoks. “The increased interest makes patrolling and sampling the river this summer even more important. As part of our Water Quality Monitoring Program, we now issue a weekly SwimGuide that keeps citizens informed about safe areas for swimming.”
The guide helps residents of the D.C. area identify safe areas for swimming and serves as proof of the good work they do to rid the river of pollution, said O’Keefe.
That report couldn’t occur without the extensive sampling the team does in the patrol boat, said Naujoks.
"I grew up in northern Virginia and can't remember a time when swimming in the Potomac around Washington D.C. was safe," said John O'Keefe, government relations senior specialist at Yamaha Marine U.S. business unit.
“Thanks in large part to the Potomac Riverkeepers and other like-minded organizations, the river is making a comeback,” said O’Keefe. “Yamaha Rightwaters is proud to partner with the Potomac Riverkeeper and Potomac Riverkeeper Network in support of their ongoing efforts to restore and preserve the beautiful Potomac. I believe it’s not far-fetched to think someday soon the ‘nation’s river’ might earn the distinction of a 'national treasure.'”