Yamaha Awarded River Guardian from Chattahoochee Riverkeeper

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From Special Reports

Yamaha has been recognized for its role in helping students gain educational opportunities on Georgia’s waterways, receiving this year’s River Guardian Award from Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Recipients of this award are recognized for their efforts in promoting sustainable practices, educating the public about water conservation, advocating for clean water policies, or taking proactive measures to preserve the health of the river and its ecosystem.

The nonprofit has benefited from the collaboration between Yamaha Marine and Yamaha Motor Manufacturing, with such contributions as outfitting vessels with outboard motors and also contributing funds toward scholarships to allow economically disadvantaged students to attend field trips and participating schools to cover transportation costs for those trips to West Point Lake.

“Yamaha supports not just our two floating classrooms, which are the only two floating classrooms that operate in Georgia, but also our patrol boat, which is a jet-powered boat that we can take up and down the river,” said Chattahoochee Riverkeeper deputy director Henry Jacobs. “Yamaha has been willing to support our fleet up and down the whole Chattahoochee River.”

Yamaha’s support has helped Chattahoochee Riverkeeper reach new students, particularly students in Title I schools in Coweta County, who might not otherwise be able to afford such an experience, Jacobs noted. The company sponsored approximately 300 students in the most recent academic year.

“We’re proud to have Yamaha motors on our boat when we’re out on the lake and people coming behind their own boats fishing often strike up a conversation. I know our boat captain in particular, he’s always proud to show off the Yamaha motors,” said Jacobs. “When you’ve got a boat full of young kids who are excited and to know that you can carry them out on the lake in a safe environment on the boat with reliable motors, that does a lot for not only peace of mind, but also helps us maintain a great track record of safety. We plan to continue that.”

The floating classroom program, in operation since 2000, has taken nearly 100,000 students and teachers out on the water to learn about the lakes and river system. They get a firsthand look at their source of drinking water and develop a better understanding of it by using scientific equipment to monitor water quality, viewing wildlife through binoculars, and learning watershed concepts. This will help them become responsible water stewards and maintain that attitude throughout their lives.

This collaboration between Yamaha Marine and Yamaha Motor Manufacturing to help Chattahoochee Riverkeeper is a clear example of Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA’s One Team, One Yamaha initiative. As One Yamaha, all of our different companies work together on initiatives to improve the quality and innovation in people’s lives.

The program also helps fulfill a core educational initiative of Newnan-based Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation. “We have a stated goal that we will encourage kids to study STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). The scholarships we sponsor, and the outboard motors our Yamaha Marine division provides, so our local kids can get out on the water and see and feel the science right there is unmatched,” said Jason Broshear of YMMC. “Yamaha is pleased to partner with Chattahoochee Riverkeepers and encourages other corporations to do the same, so that more kids can apply STEM to become future leaders.”

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