December 20, 2022 • Program Updates
On Saturday, November 12, 2022, Oceanic Society joined forces with the Surfrider Foundation Ocean City Maryland Chapter, Ocean City Surf Club, and more than 70 volunteers for a cleanup of the beach and boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. The cleanup was generously sponsored by Seiko as part of their ongoing commitment to ocean conservation, in partnership with local retailer Park Place Jewelers.
After iffy weather conditions on Friday evening caused by the remnants of Hurricane Nicole, the weather cleared beautifully for our cleanup on Saturday morning, with blue skies and 70 degree temperatures. As we set up, we were treated to views of bottlenose dolphins porpoising in the Ocean City Inlet, while large numbers of gulls and terns flocked along the shore, both reminders of the “why” behind our cleanup efforts.
Large flocks of gulls and terns reminded us of the “why” behind our cleanup effort. © Bob Hanes
An impressive group of more than 70 volunteers from the Ocean City community came out to participate, including dozens of students from nearby Stephen Decatur High School. After initial remarks from the organizers, volunteers set out in small groups from our meeting place near the Ocean City Inlet to walk the beach, boardwalk, and nearby side streets to collect trash at risk of entering or re-entering the ocean.
Participants included dozens of students from Stephen Decatur High School. © Bob Hanes
Most of the trash collected originated from beachgoers. © Brian Hutchinson
At first glance, the beach and surrounding areas appeared very clean, with little trash visible. Upon closer inspection, however, a wide range of waste was there to be found, ranging from small items like cigarette butts, plastic bottle caps, and fishing lures, to larger and more unusual items like discarded beach chairs, a soccer ball, and vinyl siding. The vast majority of the items found originated from beachgoers, highlighting the importance of minimizing waste, avoiding single use items, and following a “pack in, pack out” mantra whenever visiting the beach or other natural areas.
We collected 284+ pounds of trash in just an hour. © Brian Hutchinson
Our group devoted just over an hour to the cleanup before reconvening to weigh the collected waste and examine the types of trash that was found. In total, we collected more than 284 pounds of waste during our one hour cleanup effort.
The cleanup was an extension of our Global Ocean Cleanup in September that engaged 400+ volunteers worldwide who removed 2.3 tons of trash from the environment in a single day, and part of our ongoing work to engage people worldwide in ocean conservation actions.
Participants received reusable water bottles to support their continued efforts to fight plastic pollution. © Bob Hanes
As we wrapped up, each participant received a free reusable water bottle courtesy of Oceanic Society and Seiko, as both a reminder and usable tool to support them in their continued efforts to fight ocean pollution in their homes and communities.
If you’d like to join an upcoming beach cleanup with Oceanic Society, please join our community to be notified of future opportunities.
This cleanup event was generously supported by Seiko as part of their ongoing partnership with Oceanic Society and support to our ocean cleanup efforts including the 2022 Global Ocean Cleanup. With this sponsorship, Seiko, a leader in diver’s watches, is continuing their long-term commitment to ocean conservation—learn more here. Oceanic Society has been receiving support from Seiko since 2021—learn more here.