The Cape May County Chamber of Commerce recognized the Cape May – Lewes Ferry for excellence in utilizing Environmentally Friendly “GREEN” business practices at Chamber’s annual meeting. Cape May County Chamber of Commerce virtually presented the 2020 Environmental Leadership Award to the Delaware Bay Ferry Service at its 27th Annual Conservation Awards at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting held on October 21, 2020.
In presenting the award, Steve Morey from Mott MacDonald and Chairman of the Cape May County Environment and Legislative Committee remarked, “The accomplishments of the Cape May – Lewes Ferry cover all three of our Environmental Leadership Award criteria to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Their positive impacts of reducing plastics and other solid wastes from our Cape May County waters alone merits recognition of the Cape May County Chamber 2020 Environmental Leadership Award.”
“We’re pleased to be recognized by the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce for our focus on environmentally friendly business practices,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “The resort communities we serve have some of the world’s greatest beaches and the marine life in the Delaware Bay is particularly vibrant. It takes effort by all of us - particularly with the increased use of single-use products during the pandemic - to make meaningful change in order to protect and sustain our environment both landside and at sea.”
The Cape May Lewes Ferry has achieved facility environmental milestones through implementation of several environmental (“GREEN”) best practices and site improvements. Over the past 18 months, the following are some of the environmentally friendly and community based initiatives that were implemented:
- Facility wide waste management and recycling changes; including refillable water stations to encourage passengers to use reusable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles; new customer recycling bins (made from recycled material) for vehicle staging lanes; and new recycling containers for every office/work station at the Ferry.
- Implementation of best practices to improve storm water quality – including the use of total enclosed solid waste roll-off containers; installation of storm water drain guards to prevent litter and trash from entering the storm water system.
- Joined the nationwide Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, which commits its members to refrain from using Styrofoam; employ proper recycling practices; offer only reusable tableware for onsite dining with disposable utensils for takeout food provided only upon request; no plastic bags for takeout or to-go orders; plastic straws provided only upon request and other environmentally sustainable activities.
- Certified in the Passenger Vessel Association's (PVA) Green Ship Program that is aimed at reducing waste, ocean pollution / litter and operating in a greener more sustainable environment.
- CMLF continues to look for energy efficiency opportunity and more recently, sources of renewable energy – including the installation of LED bulbs and energy efficient equipment throughout the operation. With grant funding approved from NJDEP’s “It Pays to Plug In” program, the Ferry expects to have two new electric car charging stations for the public to use at the Cape May Ferry Terminal In the near future.
About the Cape May-Lewes Ferry
The Cape May – Lewes Ferry is owned and operated by the Delaware River and Bay Authority, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962. The Ferry is open year-round and has carried more than 43 million passengers since its inception on July 1, 1964. In 2019, the ferry service, which connects Victorian Cape May, New Jersey, and historic Lewes, Delaware, transported approximately 275,000 vehicles and nearly 1 million passengers. For schedule, rates and other program information, please visit the ferry’s website at www.CMLF.com, or call toll free, 800-643-3779. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @CMLFerry.