A previous beach cleanup by some of the groups involved netted hundreds of pounds of trash. Photo: Brian Hutchinson/Oceanic Society

Visiting Ocean City? Join This Beachwide Cleanup

If you’re visiting Ocean City, Maryland next week, there’s an opportunity to help clean up the environment in one of the beach town’s biggest beach cleanups yet.

For the first time, eight different nonprofit environmental groups are teaming up for a beach and street cleanup. On Tuesday, August 1, any volunteers can come to the beach at 4th Street and the Boardwalk by 8 a.m.

The Assateague Coastal Trust, Beach Heros-OC, Maryland Coastal Bays Program, Ocean City Surf Club, OC Go Green, Restore the Shore, Surfrider Foundation, and the Town of Ocean City through the Ocean City Green Team will all have tents set up for volunteers to register and pick up supplies, as well as learn a bit about each of the environmental groups.

After signing a waiver, you can pick up trash and bring what you’ve gathered back to 4th Street and the beach by 9:30 a.m. so that Ocean City can celebrate your hard work and weigh all the trash. The Town will dispose of everything properly.

Anyone who wants to collect trash and debris beyond the walkable areas is also welcome to bring their collection back to the weigh-in site.

The town says its public works department “does an outstanding job keeping our beaches and streets as clean as they possibly can 24/7”, but things like microplastics and debris caught on side streets, in sand dunes, and buried in sand are especially hard for them to get. That’s where community cleanups go far in preventing pollution in waterways and keeping the beach nice.

The Town of Ocean City is offering free parking for cleanup participants at the municipal parking lot on 4th Street from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

It’s not required for volunteers to register in advance, but organizers ask anyone planning to come to fill out this form form so coordinators can provide the correct amount of supplies.

All of the groups involved coordinate cleanups throughout the year in Ocean City and the coastal bays region. If you can’t make it on August 1, check out the Adopt Your Beach/Street Program at either site: mdcoastalbays.org/adopt-your-beach-registration/  or Adopt Your Beach Ocean City MD | Environmental Maryland (ocsurfclub.org).

-Meg Walburn Viviano