Bassmaster Elite pros join Yamaha river cleanup

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Yamaha pros Matt Herren, Patrick Walters, Brandon Palaniuk and Bill Lowen join forces with Yamaha Rightwaters to clean up the Matanzas River during the delay of the first Bassmaster Elite tournament.

After B.A.S.S. delayed the first Bassmaster Elite Series event of the 2020 season due to strong winds on the St. Johns River in North Florida, Yamaha pros Brandon Palaniuk, Bill Lowen, Matt Herren and Patrick Walters set out aboard the Matanzas Riverkeeper’s Yamaha-powered Carolina Skiff, the “Litter Gitter II,” to clean the waters of the nearby Matanzas River. The group removed 270 pounds of trash from the river and its tributaries throughout the day, including the keel from a wrecked sailboat, multiple computers and dozens of pounds of plastic.

“Never doubt what a group of dedicated people can accomplish,” said Litter Gitter II Captain Adam Morley. “The plastic these anglers removed would have broken down into smaller and smaller pieces and posed a significant threat to the river. It doesn’t take much to make a difference. With just a couple of hours of work, our small crew made a noticeable impact.”

“This cleanup is an incredible example of what the Yamaha Rightwaters initiative seeks to accomplish,” said John O’Keefe, Senior Specialist, Government Relations, Yamaha Marine Engine Systems. “We’re not just cleaning up a fishery for anglers to use this weekend, we’re creating better opportunities for future generations and hoping to inspire others to join this movement.”

The Matanzas Riverkeeper organization is a project of the Friends of the Matanzas, a nonprofit organization that has been fighting to protect the Matanzas River since the early 90s. Since its inception, Friends of the Matanzas has spoken out against poorly planned developments that would harm the Matanzas River or its tributaries.