KENNESAW, Ga., — Yamaha Marine Group is matching an Environmental Protection Agency grant that encourages anglers on Alaska’s Kenai River to upgrade their old technology two-stroke outboards, the company reported earlier this week.
Yamaha said it is contributing to an effort to help the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, IRA and local environmental groups improve the water quality of the river. The EPA asks anglers to upgrade from two-stroke outboards, regardless of brand, to a new Yamaha F50HP, manufactured after April 1, 2005, with a Yamaha Kenai Limited Horsepower Reduction kit installed, which meets EPA low emission standards.
Yamaha’s matching $500 discount will match the $500 Kenai grant to a qualified consumer with an eligible motor for a maximum of 200 outboards purchased from June 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007 or until June 30, 2007, whichever occurs first. The Yamaha discount is available only to consumers. Guides, camps, government agencies and rental services do not qualify.
To be eligible for the Kenai River Motor Buy Back program, older motors must be two-stroke outboards between 20 - 50 HP in working condition. Owners are required to provide proof that the boat and motor were used on the Kenai River. New outboards must meet the 2006 EPA standards. Owners are issued vouchers that are presented to local dealers. All of Yamaha’s full-line outboard dealers in Alaska have been approved by the Kenai Watershed Forum to participate. Certain restrictions apply.
In 2000, a broad partnership of organizations associated with the Kenai River began a program to monitor the water quality. The testing showed that during July, the busiest fishing month on the Kenai, the hydrocarbon levels exceeded the allowable limits by more than 50 percent. It was calculated that more than 10,000 gallons of gasoline was entering the river during the summer. Most of the gasoline was emitted by older, two-stroke outboards.
The Kenaitze Indian tribe worked with the Kenai Watershed Forum and other organizations to get funding from the EPA to continue monitoring and to clean up the river. A key part of the program was the Kenai River Motor Buy Back Program that offered a $500 incentive per outboard to replace 20 to 50 hp outboards with newer, more efficient models that meet 2006 EPA standards. The $500 matching discount from Yamaha dealers in Alaska along with the $500 Kenai River Motor Buy Back Program can bring the total buy back incentive to $1,000 per person.
The Kenai Watershed Forum administers the Kenai River Motor Buy Back Program.
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