Ocean City Today

West OC keeps neighborhoods clean

By Katie Tabeling | Nov 09, 2017
West Ocean City Association President Michael Maykrantz talks about the importance the association’s volunteer trash clean-up program during last Thursday’s meeting at the Lion’s Club on Airport Road.

(Nov. 10, 2017) As grassroots efforts to keep the resort clean continue to grow, West Ocean City volunteers look for help from neighbors to keep the trash off the streets and out of drainage ditches.

West Ocean City Association board member Chris Remmell promoted the long-running litter collection initiative at the annual association meeting on Oct. 26.

“We know all the problem areas – behind the White Marlin mall, the wooded area near the Christian school, and the drainage ditch on Keyser Point Road,” she said. “It’s not a nice job, but we need to take pride in where we live.”

For the past five years, Remmell has spearheaded an effort to clean up West Ocean City. At first, she held annual clean-up days and Maryland Coastal Bays would provide the trash bags and gloves to get the job done.

Last spring, Remmell organized a series of informal meetings to clean frequent problem areas since trash is a constant problem, not on one day a year.

“We avoid cleaning in the summer because of chiggers and ticks, and we want to start up again after the first frost,” she said during a later interview. “Sometimes we go out after nor’easters and storms because trash and debris washes up on Stinky Beach and it can clog up the ditches. We’ve literally collected tons on trash.”

The volunteers also target the woods near the Seaside Christian School and other known homeless camps to collect garbage and other hazardous waste.

“I don’t know how many homeless people we have, and it’s not our intent to bother them. We lay low and just collect what we can,” she said.

This year, the cleanups ranged from small, with five volunteers, to large, with a dozen people. Some participants are residents, others are families, but the majority are local students who volunteer for service hours.

The goal is to get residents and homeowner associations to start cleaning their neighborhoods, Remmell said.

“I look at Ocean City’s Adopt Your Street concept, and it’s something that we can really embrace here,” she said. “Keeping the streets clean is absolutely something that we can do, on our own time.

“Doing this is going to make us a tight-knit community, because we’re coming together to keep this gorgeous place clean,” Remmell continued. “I feel like if we take pride in where we live, not judge or criticize the problems we have, we’re going to make this a better place to live.”

To join the West Ocean City trash clean-up effort, keep an eye on the “West Ocean City Association” Facebook page. Remmell will post notices of the next event online.

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