Ocean City Today

Annual Earth Day Coastal Cleanup set for Saturday

By Kara Hallissey | Apr 05, 2018

(April 6, 2018) Volunteers are encouraged to join the Maryland Coastal Bays Program, the Ocean City Surf Club and the Town of Ocean City for the ninth annual Earth Day Cleanup slated for Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m.

Participants will meet at City Hall on Third Street where organizers will distribute trash bags, latex gloves and assign cleanup spots.

“It is a great event to help change thought processes and behavioral patterns while contributing to the community,” said Sandi Smith, development and marketing coordinator for the Maryland Coastal Bays Program. “Every year we have someone come back and say they will never litter again.”

Last year, almost 200 volunteers helped pick up trash in the wetlands and sand dunes throughout the resort. Cigarette butts, straws, plastic bags, Styrofoam, bits of plastic and water and soda bottles were some of the top pieces of litter collected.

“You never know what you are going to find and there are statistics out there saying once you participate in a cleanup, you tend to notice more trash and want to pick it up,” Smith said.

“We’ve found lawn chairs that blew off porches and decks during storms.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, at least 50 people had registered to participate and Smith is expecting more than 30 volunteers from two fraternities at Salisbury University to help out as well.

“They do all the heavy lifting and are awesome,” Smith said. “There will be volunteers from the Connections Club at Stephen Decatur High School too. We also have several individuals participating who adopted beaches and streets.”

Volunteers will each receive a T-shirt, which were funded by a number of local businesses, while supplies last. The Ocean City Fishing Center, Sunset Marina, the Hobbit Restaurant, Taylor Bank, the Harrison Group and the Atlantic Tackle Shop were all sponsors this year.

In 1963, the Ocean City Fire Department requested the week of April 21 be proclaimed Cleanup Week, even though Earth Day, an annual worldwide event to raise awareness about pollution, was not established until 1970, Smith said.

Volunteers are encouraged to register in advance to ensure there are enough supplies, although there will be registration on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“We are usually rain or shine, but if it snows on Saturday, check out our Facebook page for updates,” Smith said.

There are additional cleanups in the works for June and September.

For more information about the Coastal Cleanup or to register for Saturday’s events, call Smith at 410-213-2297 ext. 106 or email sandis@mdcoastalbays.org.

“Everyone talks about it, but no one does anything about it,” Smith said. “As citizens, we are not very responsible with trash and it comes back to ‘what else can I do’? Hopefully events like this promotes good citizenship. It is pretty cool to have groups come together to pick up trash.”

Maryland Coastal Bays is also promoting the Adopt Your Street Program where area residents and homeowners commit to picking up trash on a specific street for at least four days annually. In addition, the Ocean City Surf Club has a similar program with adopting a beach.

Visit www.mdcoastalbays.org or www.oceancitysurfclub.org to sign up for these programs.

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