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Maryland Passes Statewide Balloon Release Ban
Ocean City, MD

FAQS

The Coastal Resources Legislative Committee or Green Team is a group focused on protecting the resources of the Town of Ocean City. They also gather information on the specified actions of the Sustainable Maryland Certified Program to keep Ocean City Certified Sustainable.

In simplest terms, sustainability is living in a way that allows the needs of the current and future generation to be met. This means the current generation is using their resources in a way that ensures they will not run out or be destroyed for the upcoming generation.

The UN World Commission on Environment and Development defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

The UCLA Sustainability Committee in its charter defines sustainability as “the integration of environmental health, social equity and economic vitality in order to create thriving, healthy, diverse and resilient communities for this generation and generations to come. The practice of sustainability recognizes how these issues are interconnected and requires a systems approach and an acknowledgement of complexity.” https://www.sustain.ucla.edu/what-is-sustainability/

“You may never reach the zero in zero waste, but that’s no reason to take zero action.” Living more sustainably is about reducing the negative environmental impact we as humans have on the Earth. Some changes may work better for where you are currently in life than others. It’s about collectively being more mindful and trying our personal best to be more eco-friendly.

Use water wisely: Water is something we all need, and there are so many ways to use it wisely. Fixing leaky faucets, doing full loads of laundry and dishes, and taking slightly shorter showers help prevent wasted water. Rain barrels and washing your car in the rain are ways water can be reused.

Reduce your food waste: Planning meals and grocery lists in advance can help prevent wasted food and save you money too. Learning to love leftovers also stops the amount of food that ends up in the trash. The last leftover food scraps can be composted, which can be used to revitalize the soil that helps our food and other vegetation grow.

Shop at local farmer’s markets: Buying local not only helps the farmers, but it also reduces the amount of carbon emitted into the air by tractor trailers and other transportation vehicles since the food does not have to travel as far to get from farm to plate.

Be an eco-savvy shopper: Before making a new purchase, consider a few things...

Does the product test on animals, come from ethically sourced materials, and/ or is energy star certified?

Is this something you need brand new, or can you purchase it second hand from a thrift store, internet marketplace, or from someone you know?

Is this something you really need?

These considerations can help save you money in the long run and reduce the number of resources that are used to make new products.

  • Cars burn fossil fuels, which pollute the air and contributes to the warming climate and the resulting environmental detriment. Choosing to walk on the boardwalk and side streets and utilizing the bike and bus routes of the Town of Ocean City are all alternative means of transportation that are more environmentally friendly. This EPA article contains more information about the impact of burning fossil fuels and ways to reduce them: https://www.epa.gov/transportation-air-pollution-and-climate-change/carbon-pollution-transportation.

The Town of Ocean City offers various opportunities to get involved in the environmental effort:

Beach Heroes- OC holds weekly cleanups every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at various locations throughout the town. Updates on their cleanups can be found on the oceancity.green calendar or on the Beach Heroes- OC Facebook page.

  • The Ocean City Surf Club (OCSC) is an environmental nonprofit organization that gives back to the Delmarva area through scholarships for the youth, educational programs, cleanups, and other environment-centered programs. To learn more about the OCSC and the volunteer opportunities offered visit their website at ocsurfclub.org.

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) is a National Estuary Program that receives EPA funding to restore and protect “estuaries of National significance.” Through events, education, restoration, outreach, and science the MCBP is working towards that goal. Throughout the year, the program offers a variety of programs and events where volunteers are needed. For more information, visit https://mdcoastalbays.org/.

Assateague Coastal Trust (ACT) is the Waterkeeper Alliance program for the coastal watershed of lower Delmarva that works to fight for the community’s right to fishable and swimmable water. ACT offers Coast Kids, membership, and volunteer opportunities. If you’re interested in getting involved, visit ACT’s website here: https://www.actforbays.org/take-action.

The Lower Shore Land Trust (LSLT) is a nationally accredited environmental nonprofit that focuses on land conservation, habitat restoration, and stewardship of natural resources to preserve the character and quality of the land and water of Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore. The LSLT has a community calendar with different volunteer opportunities and a volunteer sign up page on their website https://www.lowershorelandtrust.org/.

Be sure to check out the opportunities offered by the town and the Green Team here on oceancity.green under “Programs.”

  • Separate the food items, sticking to vegetable and fruit scraps, tea bags, coffee grounds, and eggshells. Meat, fish, and other poultry products are better left to commercial composting organizations like Ocean Compost LLC and Go Green OC. Then, layer the items alternating between wet and dry food wastes, in a bin or on the bare ground in your lawn. Continue adding scraps that are both nitrogen and carbon rich. Stir the mixture to ensure air reaches the entire pile. Then let Mother Nature do her work! More information on composting at home can be found in this article: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/828918397/how-to-compost-at-home.
  • Beachgoers
  • Improper disposal of trash on land
  • Stormwater sewers and combined sewer overflow
  • Ships and other vessels
  • Industrial facilities
  • Waste disposal activities
  • Offshore oil and gas platforms

Cigarette butts are the most common form of marine litter. Most cigarette filters are made out of cellulose acetate, a plastic-like material that’s easy to manufacture, but not easy to degrade. The fibers in cigarette filters behave just like plastics in our oceans, the UV rays from our sun may break the fibers down into smaller pieces, but they don’t disappear. One solid filter ends up being thousands of tiny microplastics.

Here’s what you can do about keeping those cigarette butts, lighters and cigar tips from spoiling our ocean:

  • If you smoke, don’t flick your butt! Place it in a proper receptacle.
  • Organize cleanups in your local community. Make sure you document your findings with the Marine Debris Tracker App.
  • Be an environmental steward in your own community. Spread awareness about cigarette butt litter.
  • Worried about the smell from cigarettes in your pocket? Purchase a pocket ashtray! These trays can come in the form of metal boxes or vinyl pouches, fit in your pocket, purse, or backpack, and extinguish cigarettes until they can be properly disposed of in the trash.
  • Recycle your butts! Although it is not common, there are a few places, like the City of Vancouver, and organizations, like TerraCycle, that will actually recycle your filters for you. Check to see if there any programs in your area.

For better health and a better planet, we need to ease our ways on the comforts of the disposable culture. It might cause some inconveniences at time but in the long run you will improve your health and even same money.

Plastic contains over 1,000 chemicals that can disrupt the endocrine system. The endocrine system affects almost every process in your body, including:

  • Fertility
  • Sleep
  • Blood Pressure
  • Metabolism
  • Grow and development
  • Emotions and mood

In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published a report saying that some chemicals in plastic, including bisphenols (such as BPA) and phthalates, may put children’s health at risk, and recommended that families reduce exposure to them. Studies in humans link BPA to metabolic disease, obesity, infertility, and disorders like ADHD, Vandenberg says. Studies in animals have also linked BPA to prostate and mammary cancer, as well as brain development problems. Phthalates are known to affect hormones, she says, which means they can alter the development of reproductive organs and alter sperm count in males. (https://www.consumerreports.org/toxic-chemicals-substances/most-plastic-products-contain-potentially-toxic-chemicals

Choose reusable products made of safer material that is designed to last for years.

  1. Stop buying plastic water bottles. Purchase a reusable water bottle.
  2. Bring your own reusable bags to the store when shopping or ask for a paper bag.
  3. Use paper baggie or wax paper to protect and wrap food.
  4. Keurig users – use a reusable K-Cup or go old school and use a thermos.
  5. Pass on the plastic straw or stirrer.
  6. Use a bamboo toothbrush.
  7. Use plastic free face wash

Marine birds, sea life and wildlife become entangled, or choke on our plastic waste, or mistake it for food. It eventually breaks down into tiny toxic particles, which are eaten by plankton and fish, entering our food chain. A 2015 study estimated that 90% of the world’s seabirds and 25% of fish contain plastic in their stomachs. By 2050, we expect to see more plastic in our oceans than fish.

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