Young sea turtles take a trip across the Delaware Bay

Cape May-Lewes Ferry provides free ride for endangered species
October 21, 2015

Two young sea turtles enjoyed a complimentary ride on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry Oct. 11 and were later released back to the ocean.

A Kemp's ridley turtle and a green sea turtle took a Sunday ferry trip across the Delaware Bay alongside their handler Troy Platt, of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J., from Cape May to Lewes before heading to their final destination near Virginia Beach, Va.

The turtles were caught in intake pipes at the Oyster Creek Generating Station in Forked River, N.J., before their rescue. The two turtles, about 3 to 4 years old or younger, were met by four organizations for their release.

The Cape May-Lewes Ferry has been transporting turtles, seals and distressed dolphins for 35 years, said Bob Schoelkopf, founding director of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center.

“The ferry ride helps provide a needed break to the driver, not to mention a thrill for passengers and crew,” he said.

Both turtle species are endangered. The Kemp's ridley turtle is the most endangered turtle species in the world, while green sea turtles are rarely seen this far north.

“This time of year, it's critical to the turtles' survival that they move to warmer water,” Schoelkopf said.

For more information about the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, go to For more information about the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, go to


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