Arizona River Runners Use New E-TEC Engines in Grand Canyon Rafting Green Initiative

 By: Wendy Rubicam
Arizona River Runners announced that it has proactively replaced all motors for the company's motorized Colorado River trips with the new Evinrude E-TEC two-stroke engines. The river outfitter is the only licensed concessionaire operating in the Grand Canyon using the newly designed engines that are cleaner burning, more environmentally friendly and assembled in the United States.

The E-TEC two-stroke technology from Evinrude has produced the only outboard motor to win the EPA Clean Air Excellence Award, and it produces fewer reportable emissions than any other brand of engine. The engines require no oil changes and use all of the oil in the fuel mix, eliminating potential oil residue in the air or water. Additionally, the engine has 195 fewer parts which reduces the engine weight, operating costs and requires less maintenance.

Bruce Winter, co-owner of Arizona River Runners, says the company made the choice because of their on-going commitment to preserving the environment of the river in the Grand Canyon. "Because the new Evinrude engines produce very little smoke and less noise and vibration, we can provide a more enjoyable experience for our guests," said Winter. "Using cleaner and quieter technology also has less of an impact on wildlife."

Evinrude states that the engine is one of the quietest because of its "acoustically tuned intake and exhaust and 3-dimensional foam lining."

According to Jon Stoner, Operations Administrator for Arizona River Runners, the company approached the National Parks Service last year to obtain permission to test the new engines. Stoner says, "The results of testing the new engines were lower emissions, better EPA standards and lower sound decibels. In accordance with the Commercial Operating Regulations, Arizona River Runners implemented best management practices to initiate the test and secure National Park Service approval to implement the Evinrude E-TEC engines on the river."

Arizona River Runners has been providing Grand Canyon rafting trips on the Colorado River since 1970, hosting guests on memorable three, six, seven, eight and 13-day adventures. The company practices the principles of environmental stewardship and takes its responsibility for preserving the Grand Canyon environment seriously.

Arizona River Runners promotes the "Leave No Trace" principles on their whitewater trips to minimize environmental impact, ensuring that the Grand Canyon will be unchanged by their presence. These practices include "pack it in/pack it out" (and yes, that means everything); leaving rocks, plants and other natural objects as they were found; staying on trails and proper campsite selection; specified washing and camp procedures; and respecting wildlife.
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