SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — State officials celebrated Utah Speaker Brad Wilson on Wednesday, Nov. 15, naming a Great Salt Lake airboat in honor of the outgoing state legislator.

Wilson announced Wednesday would be his last day as Utah’s Speaker of the House back in September. A week after he announced his resignation, Wilson launched his bid to replace Mitt Romney in the U.S. Senate in 2025.

The boat was officially christened as “Wilson’s Water Warrior” on the steps of the Utah State Capitol Building. Officials said the name reflects Wilson’s commitment and serves to remind Utahns of their collective responsibility to protect the lake.

The moment was commemorated with a toast of Martinelli’s sparkling cider in Brad Wilson’s name.

“In light of Brad’s tireless efforts to preserve and protect the iconic Great Salt Lake, we are naming an airboat in his honor,” said Utah Gov. Spencer Cox. “It’s not a fancy or new boat but a workhorse that supports activities on the lake like search and rescue, invasive species eradication, water sampling and more. We appreciate Brad for helping to raise awareness of the lake’s importance and supporting actions to protect it.”

In September, Wilson said serving in the Utah House of Representatives and as Speaker was an honor, privilege and opportunity of a lifetime. Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said she has grown to have great respect for Wilson, his leadership and the way he served Utah, particularly with the Great Salt Lake.

“I appreciate his willingness to be at the forefront of the historic efforts being made to preserve the Great Salt Lake,” said Henderson.

“Speaker Wilson has championed policies and initiatives aimed at safeguarding the lake’s ecological integrity,” said Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Joel Ferry. “His actions have earned him recognition and gratitude from Utahns across the state. The lake’s future looks brighter because his leadership.”