The Passenger Vessel Association has recognized the Cape May-Lewes Ferry as the newest member of its Green WATERS Program for the Delaware Bay ferry operation’s dedication and commitment toward a cleaner, greener marine environment.
Members of WATERS (We Are Taking Environmental Responsibility/Stewardship) around the U.S. have taken it upon themselves to reduce their environmental impact in a variety of ways, including reducing fuel consumption, conserving potable water, using less harmful chemicals near waterways, conserving energy, and working with their employees to create a greener workplace.
“We’re pleased to be recognized by the PVA for our focus on environmentally friendly business practices and efforts to make a difference,” said Heath Gehrke, director of ferry operations. “We’re proud of our progress and we’ll continue our plans to convert all lighting to LED, explore alternate energy programs for our terminals, and use sustainable eco-friendly materials in vessel renovations and improvements.”
PVA Executive Director John Groundwater said, “I commend the Cape May-Lewes Ferry for their dedication to the marine environment because America’s waterways depend on organizations like this one who strive to make a difference for cleaner water for everyone to enjoy.”
The CMLF recently launched its “Green Team,” which is comprised of all aspects of the ferry’s operation and administration to identify and implement green initiatives. Some of these initiatives include the conversion of vessel and landside lighting to LED; the vessel engine repowering program to reduce fuel consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and release of other particulate matter; as well as improvements to the vessel maintenance program and water conservation efforts while underway.
In 2018, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection recognized the CMLF for its recycling excellence for changes made to its policies, practices and overall awareness. The operation recycled 38 percent of its solid waste, including a diverse mix of paper, cardboard, plastic, scrap metal, used cooking oil, e-waste, lamps and lighting waste, used oil, batteries and oil filters.
The PVA Green WATERS Program was designed exclusively for the passenger vessel industry as a voluntary program aimed at reducing waste and operating in a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable environment. Because this is a voluntary program, all the participants are engaged due to a personal sense of responsibility, rather than being forced to comply.
To date, dozens of passenger vessel operations from around the country are participating in the program. Using online tools developed by PVA for its membership, vessel operators are utilizing an array of “Best Green Business Practices,” in Office Operations, Power Sources, Fuel Type and Consumption, Galley Processes, Engine Maintenance and Emissions, Vessel Design and Construction, Paperless Marketing Materials and Collateral, Reservations and Ticketing, Water Consumption, and Environmental Training.
The Passenger Vessel Association, headquartered in Alexandria, Va., is the national association representing the interests of owners and operators of dinner cruise vessels, sightseeing and excursion vessels, car and passenger ferries, gaming vessels, private charter boats, whale watching and eco-tour vessels, day-sailers and windjammer sailing vessels, overnight cruise ships and amphibious DUKW. PVA members operate U.S. Coast Guard certificated, Canadian Coast Guard or state inspected vessels. The passenger vessel industry carries more than 200 million passengers each year. For more information go to PVA at www.passengervessel.com.