Ferry restaurants join Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Program

Guidelines seek to reduce maritime pollution
May 11, 2019

Cape May-Lewes Ferry officials announced that all its food service operations, including the On the Rocks dockside grill locations, have joined Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Program.

According to the Surfrider Foundation, the Ocean Friendly Restaurants program offers restaurants an easy way to show their commitment to making sustainable choices for ocean and marine life.

“We recently formed a Green Committee at the ferry, with the intention of finding ways to be more eco-friendly and go green,” said Shaun O’Brien, superintendent of food and retail operations at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry. “Joining this program was one of the first initiatives of this effort. The Twin Capes resort community has some of the world’s greatest beaches, and the marine life in the Delaware Bay is particularly vibrant. We need to do our part to make sure future generations can enjoy these treasures.”

“The City of Lewes has asked all restaurants and food service operations to eliminate the use of disposable utensils, plastic straws and non-biodegradable containers,” said Mayor Ted Becker. “The changes implemented by the DRBA food service operations demonstrate a strong commitment to this citywide initiative. We salute the DRBA for their leadership in taking this action as we work together to develop actions to improve the sustainability of the environment.”

Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurant designation has the following mandatory requirements to be included in the program: no expanded polystyrene use (aka 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; and plastic straws provided only upon request.

In addition, the ferry’s restaurants will offer vegetarian/vegan food options regularly; ensure all seafood is a Best Choice or Good Alternative as defined by Seafood Watch or is certified as sustainable; engage in energy-efficiency efforts such as LED lighting and Energy Star appliances, and begin implementing water conservation efforts such as low-flow faucets and toilets.

O’Brien said the restaurant operation has already moved to single-pull napkin holders, a broad-based recycling effort, and an outreach to local farmers to source fresh, organic items and ingredients for its menu entrées.

The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans, waves and beaches through a powerful network.

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