Live Green: Ocean City Surf Club
OCEAN CITY, MD– While it’s name might be deceiving, the Ocean City Surf Club is not an organization for surfers. Instead, it’s an organization founded by a group of local surfers with the purpose of preserving the environment for future generations.
A group of local surfers, known as The Legends, came together in 2014 with the vision of sustaining Ocean City’s beaches for future generations. This led to the formation of the Ocean City Surf Club, a service organization dedicated to environmental causes and supporting local students.
“If we really want to make a difference and change things, we need to start talking to children at a younger age and make them aware of the consequences of a lot of their actions. So getting them out there and having them participate in clean ups and stuff on the beach, they notice things that before people would just walk by like cigarette butts on the street,” said Effie Cox.
In their efforts to turn students into environmental stewards, the Ocean City Surf Club speaks to local schools, hosts afterschool programs, and even awards scholarships to high school seniors making green strides.
“When you’re on the beach, whether you’re here all year or just the weekend, that’s your beach. We took that concept and said that while you’re there, make it your home,” explained Cox.
Effie Cox, their environmental chair, turned this concept into their ‘Adopt Your Beach’ program, which allows residents to ‘adopt’ a section of the beach to take care of. Part of the program involves logging the amount of trash collected, like the number of plastic bags, straws and more.
“When people feel like they have ownership, they’re more aware. They take care of it and talk to other people in their area,” stated Cox.
Plus, the data these participants collect is used to support the Ocean City Surf Club’s efforts in proposing green legislation like the ban on intentionally releasing balloons, which passed earlier this year in Maryland.
“They take pride in taking care of their beach,” stated Cox.
Not only is the Ocean City Surf Club starting a green conversation on the Eastern Shore, but they are also riding a wave of sustainable change.
Effie says that due to the demand for more group beach clean ups the Ocean City Surf Club will start organizing monthly beach clean ups this fall. All of their upcoming events and ways to get involved can be found on their website.