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Riverkeeper christens new boat and honors founder Bob Boyle

New boat honors founder Bob Boyle

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Expansion of Riverkeeper’s on-the-water presence increases capacity to monitor water quality and serve as the eyes and ears of the river

June 3, 2024 (OSSINING, NY) – Riverkeeper today announces the christening of its new boat. Named in honor of the late Bob Boyle, who founded Riverkeeper in 1966, the additional vessel is dedicated to expanding the science work Riverkeeper conducts on the Hudson. This addition to Riverkeeper’s boat fleet will increase Riverkeeper’s capacity to monitor water quality and serve as the eyes and ears of the river.

At the christening, Boyle’s widow, Kathryn Belous-Boyle, ceremonially doused the boat with champagne. Boyle’s children as well as Assemblymember Dana Levenberg, Ossining Town Supervisor Liz Feldman, and a number of Riverkeeper Board Members were in attendance. Riverkeeper President Tracy Brown, Patrol Boat Captain John Lipscomb, and Science Director Shannon Roback spoke at the event.

“By increasing Riverkeeper’s on-the-water presence, the Bob Boyle allows us to assess and meet the next generation of challenges facing the Hudson. We’re proud to name this worthy vessel after Riverkeeper’s founder, who was steadfastly and selflessly dedicated to science for the public good,” says Riverkeeper President and Hudson Riverkeeper Tracy Brown, “Riverkeeper is deeply grateful to Senator Pete Harckham for securing the New York State funding for the purchase of the Bob Boyle, and our board member Emmanuel Morlet for providing the scientific equipment.”

“When I took the job at Riverkeeper 24 years ago, Bob Boyle said to me, ‘Do science.’ That was his mandate. This vessel makes it possible for us to do even more science, and I’m proud to be honoring Bob’s wishes and his legacy,” says Riverkeeper Boat Captain and Vice President of Advocacy John Lipscomb. “The Riverkeeper water quality monitoring program came out of a demand from the public to know, how’s the water? Since 2008, we’ve been answering that question with rigorous testing. The Bob Boyle allows us to dig even further into that work and to dedicate more resources to our ongoing patrols of the river.”

“I am grateful to organizations like Riverkeeper for their commitment to protecting and restoring the Hudson River and safeguarding drinking water supplies in New York,” says United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “Since its founding in 1966 as the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, Riverkeeper has engaged in advocacy rooted in community partnerships, science, and the law. Their dedicated staff and volunteers continue to engage in critical scientific studies that advance our understanding of the Hudson River ecosystem. Riverkeeper’s team remains steadfast in their efforts to advocate for the maintenance of clean, safe drinking water for nine million New Yorkers, as well as improved public access to the Hudson River. It is my sincere hope that Riverkeeper’s activities will inspire others to become agents of positive change within their own communities.”

“I am incredibly proud to celebrate the christening of Riverkeeper’s newest boat, the Bob Boyle, which will significantly enhance this organization’s vital water quality monitoring and watchdog programs. Having secured New York Senate funding for this vessel, I am pleased to know that it will greatly aid Riverkeeper in performing essential work that bolsters legislative efforts in combating pollution and promoting climate adaptation policies,” says Senator Pete Harckham, “I am committed to supporting local organizations and initiatives that protect the health of our beautiful river, like the Bob Boyle, which will help carry on the Riverkeeper legacy for years to come.”

“Congratulations to Riverkeeper on the launch of the Bob Boyle, which will honor a legendary local environmentalist and help further Riverkeeper’s scientific efforts,” says Assemblymember Dana Levenberg. “I am grateful that Senator Harckham was able to secure grant funding for the purchase of this boat, expanding Riverkeeper’s ability to do work that promotes the well-being of our beloved Hudson River, the ecosystem it supports, and the communities surrounding it.”

The Bob Boyle is a refurbished 25’ Parker with a new Yamaha engine. Her namesake, Robert H. Boyle (1928 – 2017), was a preeminent investigative journalist, avid outdoorsman, visionary environmental activist and the author of several books including the landmark “The Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History.” Over the course of his storied career fighting for a healthy Hudson River, Boyle discovered the PCB contamination of the striped bass population, negotiated the settlement in the historic Storm King case, led the fight to stop the Westway highway project, and brought dozens of polluters to justice.

Riverkeeper monitors water quality at hundreds of sites on the Hudson River and its tributaries, from New York City to the Adirondacks. Samples are tested at Riverkeeper’s Kingston, New York lab and onboard the Bob Boyle, which Riverkeeper has outfitted with water quality monitoring equipment.

After a toast at the christening on Sunday, the Bob Boyle set off on the Hudson with the family of its namesake on board.

Boat christening

Lauren Daisley, [email protected]
(914) 478-4501 x230


Riverkeeper protects and restores the Hudson River, and safeguards drinking water supplies through community partnerships, science, and law. Our core programs improve water quality, restore habitat for an abundance of life, and address the impact of climate change on our waterways. Founded in 1966 as the Hudson River Fishermen’s Association, Riverkeeper became the model for more than 320 Waterkeeper organizations around the world and helped establish globally-recognized standards for waterway and watershed protection. We continue to work toward the goal of a swimmable, fishable, and drinkable Hudson River for all. Learn more, get updates, and support our work by visiting