By Cleve Bryan
CAPE MAY, N.J., (CBS) – Whale watchers getting more boat time than they bargain for as businesses blame Superstorm Sandy for shallow waterways.
“It’s a pretty big deal you got a lot of people spending their tourism dollars and they’re stuck here, sitting here. It’s kind of embarrassing really that you don’t have a waterway to take them out in,” says Bob Lubberman who runs the Miss Chris Marina in Cape May.
Whale watching, fishing and bird watching tours all run out of the marina and have to use Spicer Creek to access the Cape May Canal.
There have been several times when hundreds of people aboard a sight-seeing boat have waited one or two hours to either leave the dock or get back in.
Lubberman says the banks of Spicer Creek eroded significantly during Sandy and the sentiment formed a sandbar that makes the waterway impassable during low tide.
“It’s formed almost a damn across the end there,” Lubberman said pointing to one end of the Spicer Creek.
Lubberman and others concerned with the Creek are working through New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew’s office to have FEMA and the NJDEP take a second look at the Creek to reassess Sandy’s impact.
“It has gotten considerably worse because of the storm, FEMA should recognize that and we’re really going to push to have them recognize that and we’re having them re-evaluate the entire situation,” Van Drew told Eyewitness News on Tuesday.
Van Drew says a new assessment of Spicer Creek should result in FEMA releasing money for dredging.
Lubberman says the Creek should be 12 feet deep, but according to his depth finder, it is only four feet deep along portions of the channel.