MATTAWA, WA- Yakama Nation and Columbia Riverkeeper have joined forces to offer a free yearly boat tour as a way to promote the cleanup at the Hanford Site.
The free boat tour takes riders past the site's old nuclear reactors along the shore while a guide tells them about the history of Hanford.
Dan Serres, a member of Columbia Riverkeeper, said their motivation to host these tours was to give people a new viewpoint.
"A lot of people throughout the region have talked about not viewing Hanford as a waste land and a nuclear waste dump and kind of bring the vision back to the people that live here," Serres said.
The group also said that many people have never seen the Hanford site before so giving them a chance to see it was a main draw.
"To be able to see it with your own eyes and understand the history here and also understand the pollution issues is really powerful," Brett VanderHeuvel, executive director said.
Alfrieda Peters, member of Yakama Nation Environmental Restoration and Waste Management said the Hanford site isn't just about the waste but about connecting to the history of the land.
"For some of these individuals its going to be memory triggers, for others it'll be something new to add to their knowledge... their traditional knowledge," Peters said.
The groups hope to host the boat tours yearly if not multiple times a year.
"The Columbia river is the lifeblood of our region. It's so important to so many people and we are dedicated to cleaning it up," VanderHeuvel said.
For more information visit their website.