SOUTH PORTLAND – As Friends of the Casco Bay prepare for the launch of the newest member of its fleet, the organization turns to the community to come up with a name.

The Friends group is holding a contest for the best name for its new pumpout boat prior to the christening of the vessel in June. The new vessel will replace “Wanda,” which became the region’s first pumpout boat in 1995. “Wanda” was named for 1988 film, “A Fish Called Wanda,” and has kept over 200,000 gallons of raw sewage out of the bay during its tenure.

A pumpout boat transports wastewater from recreational boats to the shore, where they can be disposed of accordingly. Between June and October, Pumpout Coordinator Jim Splude uses “Wanda” to empty out the heads, or toilet holding tanks, visiting docks and marinas between Freeport and South Portland.

When it comes to names, Splude hopes the community will suggest a name that he will be proud to have emblazoned on the side of the boat. His suggestion? Think clever, not crass.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the input that comes from the community,” said Will Everitt, communications and development director for Friends of the Casco Bay. “We’re hoping they will be creative, be clever, be punny.”

The new boat was purchased through state and federal grants has a 650-gallon holding tank and is 26 feet long. It was built by Maine Boat Builders in Warwick, Rhode Island. The new pumpout boat will be able to hold twice the capacity of its predecessor to better serve the bay. The boat will be the newest member of the Baykeeper fleet, which includes, in addition to the pumpout boat, the Baykeeper Boat. The Baykeeper Boat was acquired in 2012 and is a research vessel named for Joseph E. Payne, an icon around the Casco Bay who helped found the International Waterkeeper Alliance.

Friends of the Casco Bay organization uses the Baykeeper to monitor the bay for environmental study. The conservation organization works to protect Casco Bay, and is comprised of nine staff members, a board of 15 and 310 volunteers within a community of 2,400 members.

The Friends of the Casco Bay pumpout project helped inspire other local marinas throughout the bay to install pumpout stations to prevent hazardous wastewater from entering the bay. The Environmental Protection Agency has since designated Casco Bay as the first federal No Discharge Area in Maine, which provides protection from cruise ship pollution. To gain this designation, the area must have adequate pumpout facilities. As a No Discharge Area, boats are prohibited from discarding of their sewage into the water, both treated and untreated.

So far, Friends of the Casco Bay have received 200 suggestions for boat names. Those who wish to submit a suggestion have until Monday, April 15, after which the board of directors will choose a name.

“The more suggestions we receive, the more chances we’ll have to pick the perfect name for the boat,” Everitt said.

The name of the boat will be announced at the official launch and christening, which will take place at Portland Yacht Services Inc. on Commercial Street in Portland on Monday, June 10. All entrants to the contest are invited to attend.

While specifics have nto been set for the actual event, Everitt said that it will take place during late afternoon to early evening, and be open to friends around the bay. There will likely be a suggested donation to attend the event.

The author of the name of the boat will be the guest of honor at the event and will win a ride on the Baykeeper Boat with senior members of staff from Friends of the Casco Bay and will win swag from the organization.

“It’s nice to be able to name a new boat, especially one with twice the capacity,” Everitt said. “We want to be able to better serve the beautiful area we all love. We can’t wait to see the names.”

To submit a name for the boat, visit www.cascobay.org/help-name-our-new-pumpout-boat/. Entries must be submitted by midnight on Monday, April 15 to be considered.

Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at [email protected]

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