Live Green: Litter Free OC
OCEAN CITY, MD– This past summer, Ocean City officials noticed more trash on the beach than in trash cans. Face masks and take out containers were some of the items littered across the town. To counter this rise in pollution, Ocean City is launching a new campaign, called Litter Free OC.
Despite the pandemic, last summer many people flocked to Ocean City. Unfortunately the town realized visitors were leaving more than their footprints in the sand. As a result, the Mayor of Ocean City tasked the town’s Green Team to create the Litter Free OC campaign.
“It got to a cracking point where we needed to do something. The Mayor asked about back in the day, when I was growing up, about “Every Litter Bit Hurts,” or “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute,” and “Don’t Be a Litter Bug.” We don’t hear a lot of this anymore. He wanted to bring that message back,” explained Gail Blazer, who is Ocean City’s Environmental Engineer.
Part of bringing that message back means partnering with local organizations like the Ocean City Surf Club and the Hotel Motel Restaurant Association to get the message out.
“We want to get the message out there to get people to be more conscientious and aware of where they are putting their trash. We are giving people opportunities to do clean ups. And we are giving businesses butler and brooms to put out front, so that maybe if people see that we care about how clean our community is, maybe others will care too,” said Blazer.
Businesses, that take part in keeping their establishments litter free, can also sign the online pledge committing to a cleaner Ocean City. The OC Green Team will recognize these businesses for their green efforts by awarding them a sticker to place on their doors. Plus, locals, and even tourists, can get involved.
“We do have a group called OC Clean Beach, that goes out every Tuesday. They have supplies to clean and they clean up every 6 streets,” said Blazer.
More beach clean ups and events will be posted on Litter Free OC’s online calendar, including family friendly ones to encourage Ocean City’s youngest residents to care about their home environment.
“We’re trying to get out and change behaviors. And let people know that we do care,” stated Blazer.
At the May 17th council meeting, the mayor of Ocean City will read a proclamation regarding the Litter Free OC campaign. More outreach events–in person and virtual– for this anti-litter campaign will be up and running at this time. For more information, visit their website.
And if you know a green business on Delmarva, please send their contact information to Meteorologist Sloane Haines.