Yamaha Rightwaters™ Helps Secure Funding to Fight the Spread of Asian Carp

Last fall, the Senate Appropriations Committee secured $25 million in funding to combat the spread of Asian carp in the Tennessee, Cumberland, and Ohio River basins as part of the committee’s Interior Department fiscal 2020 budget Appropriations bill. The Yamaha Rightwaters team, along with its industry partners, made bringing attention to the aquatic invasive species (AIS) issue to Washington, D.C. a key priority. Yamaha’s efforts included bringing pros Mark Menendez and Mike Iaconelli to Capitol Hill to personally advocate for funding to fight the spread of Asian carp.

In addition to his trip to Washington, D.C., Menendez, a Kentucky native, met personally with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY.) multiple times to talk about the negative impact Asian carp have had on Kentucky fisheries. Additionally, the Yamaha Rightwaters team reached out to Judge Wade White of Lyon County, KY. ahead of the 2019 Kenai River Classic in Soldotna, Alaska. Judge White flew to the tournament in August to participate in a roundtable discussion on the destructive effects Asian carp have on fisheries in the Midwest. At his roundtable presentation, Judge White made an impression on Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and ultimately secured her commitment to support the additional funding to fight the spread of the Asian carp.

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“Yamaha’s government relations team felt the roundtable would be the perfect time to speak directly to Senator Murkowski about the Asian carp epidemic,” said John O’Keefe, Senior Specialist, Government
Relations, Yamaha Marine Business Unit. “As Chairwoman of the Interior Subcommittee, we knew Senator Murkowski would be a key ally in securing the additional funding. As a strong advocate of conservation initiatives, we felt Senator Murkowski would support our efforts to fight the spread of Asian Carp. Thanks to Judge White and his presentation, Senator Murkowski became a strong supporter of our efforts.”

Back in Washington, Sen. Murkowski worked with Sen. McConnell to secure the funding. The Interior Appropriations Bill passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and the full Senate with bipartisan support. “This was an important victory and a great first step in fighting the spread of the Asian carp from our fisheries,” said Menendez. “Once Asian carp get into an area, they have a devastating effect on just about every aspect of that waterway, not just the fishing. We must make sure we are ready to capitalize on every opportunity to stop Asian carp from spreading to other states and fisheries. I am proud to contribute to Yamaha’s government relations efforts and I am proud to carry the Yamaha Rightwaters banner on my competition truck and boat. I look forward to continuing to advocate for issues that are important to Yamaha’s customers and anglers nationwide.”

Yamaha’s efforts in combating AIS continues, with more Yamaha pros advocating on Capitol Hill and a focus on educating anglers and boaters on ways that can help mitigate the spread of AIS. Combating AIS is a pillar of the Yamaha Rightwaters initiative, which looks to build on Yamaha’s longstanding leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability, and conservation efforts.

If any employees are interested in learning more about the Yamaha Rightwaters initiative, please visit