Ocean City Today

Adopt Your Beach program  recruits for helping hands

By Greg Ellison | Apr 05, 2018
Photo by: Greg Ellison Ocean City Surf Club mascot “Gil,” played by Chris Tilghman, breaks up Councilwoman Mary Knight as she declares April as Adopt Your Beach month during the City Council meeting on Monday.

(April 6, 2018) Although April has been declared Adopt Your Beach month by the Ocean City Council, members of the Ocean City Surf Club this week stressed that the mission is to work to keep the resort’s sands sans trash throughout the year.

Accompanied by club mascot, “Gil,” who bears a striking resemblance to the “Creature from the Black Lagoon,” Surf Club President Tommy Vach accepted the resolution at the council meeting on Monday.

“We’re happy to have April be the month to recognize Adopt Your Beach, but it’s a program that goes on 12 months a year for us,” he said.

In addition to the Adopt Your Beach program, the city also recruits volunteers for the Dune Patrol, said Effie Cox, the surf club’s environmental chair

“We are pulling it together to crossover with each other,” she said.

Speaking after the meeting, Cox said the Dune Program is facilitated by the city and overseen by Environmental Engineer Gail Blazer.

Vach told the council all help is appreciated, regardless of duplicate efforts.

“We still try to get people to adopt beaches that have already been adopted because the more people that adopt … the more times the beach gets cleaned,” he said.

Launched in 2016, Adopt Your Beach needs volunteers willing to work at least four times a year, Cox said.

The Surf Club also encourages beach-cleaning volunteers to fill out data sheets to chart what trash is removed from where. These, Cox said, provide a snapshot for the city to understand what challenges exist.

“We created a online data sheet,” she said.

In addition to numerous tourists taking part, schools, businesses and civic organizations regularly recruit dozens of volunteers to remove trash and debris from the beach, Cox said.

Vach told the council the club is working to increase the volunteer corps and to expand the program.

“We realize all the great work the machines do to [clean] the beach, but we’re in there getting all the nooks and crannies up by the Boardwalk and the dunes,” he said. “We’re going to continue to … make Ocean City one of the cleanest beaches in the world, as far as I’m concerned.”

For more information or to register for the program visit ocsurfclub.org/ pages/adopt-your-beach.

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