When was the last time you strolled along Delaware Ave and gazed out over Cape May’s Harbor? Or climbed the stairs to the Nature Center’s observatory?
During his remarks, the featured speaker at this year’s Chamber of Commerce of Greater Cape May installation dinner, Mayor Dr. Ed Mahaney Jr. reminded those gathered of the importance of Cape May’s Harbor for recreation, the economy and our quality of life. Cape May’s Harbor Fest, now in its 7th year, set the trend for harbor based events. Those of us who recall when our harbor was a virtual dumping ground for abandoned and derelict boats rejoiced at hearing his comments. It seems that the Harbor has finally come into its own and is receiving the appreciation that it so richly deserves.
As our first nor’easter of the season howls outside, and as was once so common, this nor’easter has driven a vessel, the “Amazing Grace” of Philadelphia from its mooring and deposited it on the western shoreline of our ever so vulnerable harbor. As the “Amazing Grace” bangs its keel and heavily fouled hull repeatedly on the shore, one wonders, “Will it come apart and spoil our harbor?”
Mark Allen of the South Jersey Marina commented: “In 2008 a dedicated group of volunteers cleaned up the harbor (removed 9 sunken, burned or partially sunk boats) before the first harbor fest. Then the owner of the burned out boat showed up allegedly expected to be paid $30,000 for the lead he claimed was in the keel, he was told him he could recover the lead after he paid the $55,000 recovery fee. He disappeared.”
On Saturday, October 19th the Nature Center of Cape May, which has served as the harbor’s sentinel for so many years, will spearhead the biannual harbor and community clean-up. Anyone who loves the harbor and the opportunities it brings to our community, can meet at the Center at 9:00AM, or come out at 7:00 A.M. and assist a company of Coast Guard recruit volunteers as they lead the effort. Be part of the solution to harbor pollution.
The Nature Center of Cape May sits on the south rim of the harbor at 1600 Delaware Avenue in Cape May. Call 609-898-8848 for details. Gloves, bags and other materials will be provided.
Side note: “Amazing Grace” was floated of the beach at high tide on Friday afternoon, with the help of caring locals and Tow Boat US/Cape May.