Yamaha Rightwaters recapped sustainability and conservation initiative progress from the past 12 months during 2022 Capitol Hill Oceans Week. From June 2021 through June 2022, Yamaha Rightwaters sponsored new carbon sequestration and plastics recycling programs in addition to projects that continue to support marine habitat restoration, managing the spread of invasive species and meaningful scientific research.
“Conservation is always the center of Yamaha Rightwaters initiatives and partnership development. We’re committed to protecting water – our most essential natural resource,” said Martin Peters, Division Manager, External Affairs, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “We’re looking to ensure clean water and sustainable fisheries for future generations to enjoy, and we know carbon sequestration and the reduction of ocean acidification will continue to play a major role in the health of our waterways.”
Yamaha Rightwaters recently joined forces with Texas A&M University’s Harte Research Institute and the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) to initiate a new conservation project designed to restore the degraded oyster beds of St. Charles Bay in the Gulf of Mexico. The ultimate goal of this study is to quantify the amount of carbon a living oyster can sequester. This data will allow Yamaha Rightwaters, CCA® and other conservation organizations to scale future oyster reef restoration projects and to sequester measurable, certifiable amounts of carbon, thereby combating ocean acidification while also creating essential fish habitats.
In June of 2021, Yamaha Rightwaters announced support for the Ducks Unlimited Gulf Coast Initiative, which aims to restore more than 78,000 acres in coastal Louisiana and Texas. In addition to the habitat benefits for fish and wildlife, this project will also help filter nitrates from agricultural runoff while sequestering tons of carbon dioxide each year.
Yamaha Rightwaters also became a supporter of The Billion Oyster Project in 2021, an organization dedicated to restoring oyster reefs to New York Harbor in collaboration with New York City communities. Activities include rearing oysters in four nurseries, planting oysters in suitable areas and using the project as a STEM teaching opportunity. To date, the organization has introduced 75 million oysters to the harbor with the participation of more than 6,000 students.
In an effort to reduce the amount of plastic in U.S. waterways, Yamaha Rightwaters launched a reverse logistics recycling program in August of 2021 to return the protective covers from select boat builders, retail dealers and its three boat production facilities. To date, the program is responsible for returning 17,911 pounds of Polyethylene and Polypropylene sheet plastics back into base materials. Contributing manufacturers include Contender Boats, Regulator Marine, Xpress Boats, Yamaha Jet Boat Manufacturing (YJBM), Skeeter, G3 Boats, Valhalla Boats, Grady-White Boats and Sportsman Boats.
With a focus on managing the spread of aquatic invasive species, Yamaha Rightwaters is working with the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and members of the $689 billion recreational industry to create a blue-ribbon commission, which will convene leading biologists, environmentalists, policy makers and resource managers to assess existing mitigation efforts and identify more effective eradication solutions. The commission will present findings to Congress and the administration in 2023 with the goal of passing comprehensive legislation to better manage aquatic invasive species.
In addition, Yamaha Rightwaters currently sponsors the Coastal Conservation Association-Maryland (CCAMD) Aquatic Invasive Species Count, a part fishing tournament, part citizen-science project. The program documents the occurrence of snakehead, blue catfish and flathead catfish, all of which are invasive to Chesapeake Bay. These species negatively impact economically critical native species, such as blue crabs and striped bass, through predation and competition for food and habitat.
Yamaha Rightwaters also continues to support organizations including the NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and Keep the Golden Isles Beautiful, Florida State University Coastal Marine Laboratory, the Conch Republic Marine Army, the Potomac River Keepers and Wounded Nature-Working Veterans through efforts including clean up events, outboard-powered research vessels and continued conservation education.
Serving as the umbrella for all of Yamaha Marine’s sustainability projects, Yamaha Rightwaters officially launched on World Oceans Day 2019 and marks its three-year anniversary this week. The initiative expanded overseas in 2021 when Yamaha Motor Australia became the first major sponsor of the “100 Smarter Cities for Cleaner Oceans” through its alliance with clean technology start-up Seabin.