Old Lewes-to-Cape May Ferry to be Sunk for Artificial Reef

The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) announced it is selling the ferry boat, M/V Twin Capes, to Delaware’s Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). In 2018, she will be sunk 26 miles off the coast of the Delaware and New Jersey coast, and converted into an artificial reef.

It will provide habitat for ocean life, and therefore, will also be a great spot for recreational anglers.

The M/V Twin Capes was one of the original three ferries built in 1974, to be used between Lewes, Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey. She could carry 895 passengers and 100 vehicles. She was last used commercially in 2013, when the DRBA determined she was surplus property. The three other, less costly boats in the fleet were enough to serve riders. DRBA actively tried to sell the Twin Capes for more than five years, before they connected with DNREC on the artificial reef idea.

“During the sale process, it was apparent that the market was thin for such a specialized vessel,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “For us, it made sense to partner with DNREC on this artificial reef project to benefit the divers and sport fishermen of Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland.”

And DNREC leaders are excited about it:  “The Twin Capes is the one of the finest reefing candidates DNREC has ever seen, and as an artificial reef, it will be unparalleled as fish habitat and a spectacular dive for exploration,” said Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.

DRBA has been able to salvage about $230,000 worth of equipment and scraps from the 320-foot boat, including her propellers, rescue boat, generators, and light fixtures.