MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) ― One of Alabama’s best-known boats is going green.
Officials say the Environmental Protection Agency awarded a more than $1 million grant to convert the diesel-powered Gee’s Bend Ferry into an electric vessel powered by batteries.
A statement from the Alabama Department of Transportation said the ferry would become the nation’s first powered vessel with zero emissions.
The ferry operates 362 days a year making runs between the town of Camden and the rural community of Gee’s Bend in Wilcox County.
Local officials shut down the ferry during the civil rights era when residents used it to travel to the county seat to register to vote. The state reopened the ferry 44 years later in 2006.
An interim ferry will run until the power conversion is done in 2018.