Western River leads the way for Alternative Motor Boat Project Western River Expeditions along with the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon professional river outfitters have embarked upon an exciting new effort to develop and implement alternative motorboat technology suitable for commercial river operations within Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The National Park Service strongly supports and has formally endorsed this effort.
Program goals include the development and implementation of proven, environmentally-sensitive non-fossil fuel based motorboat propulsion systems with low noise and low or zero emission operating characteristics suitable for sustained commercial river operations. These alternative motorboat systems will replace the conventional 20hp to 30hp outboards now used in the Grand Canyon and the 135hp outboards now used in Glen Canyon.
Western River Expeditions has pledged considerable financial resources to this effort, including efforts with local University teams for product development. The National Park Service has pledged dollar for dollar matching funds. Multiple competing prototypes will be developed and rigorously field tested to compare various system approaches and competing technologies.
While serious technical and economic challenges exist, the hope is that the Grand Canyon alternative motorboat project will conclude with the wide scale implementation of a new, cutting edge environmentally-sound alternative motorboat propulsion systems proven safe, reliable and durable for the various commercial river operations on the sensitive and challenging waters of the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead.
Western River contributes to non-profit groups
The Grand Canyon Conservation Fund is non-profit enterprise established in 1988 and managed by a group of Grand Canyon National Park’s licensed river outfitters. Each year, roughly eighty percent of all professionally outfitted river trip passengers, including Western River Expeditions' guests donate $1 per day of their river trip to the Grand Canyon Conservation Fund. Western River Expeditions proudly supports this fund and as such includes this as a line item on all of our trip reservations as an optional fee.
In turn, this money is awarded in the form of grants to non-profit conservation groups and those working to provide access to backcountry outdoor experiences for those with physical and socioeconomic challenges. The Grand Canyon Conservation Fund does not award grants to individuals, for-profit corporations or government agencies.
The Grand Canyon Conservation Fund is managed by volunteers. There are no administrative overhead costs. One hundred percent of all donations go directly to protecting and conserving the Grand Canyon and providing access to those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to share in the Grand Canyon river experience.
As the largest commercial outfitter in the Grand Canyon, we feel it a pleasure and duty to make any efforts to protect the Grand Canyon and all of the destinations we travel through. We aim to make a difference, and hope others will follow our example.
Brian I. Merrill
Chief Executive Officer
And the entire crew at Western