OCEAN CITY – “Please Leave Only Your Footprints,” will continue to be the slogan around town in 2008, as the Ocean City Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation continues into year three of their five-year plan to keep the beaches clean.
According to the Surfrider Foundation, 75 percent of Americans litter, and with an average weekday population of 155,000 in Ocean City during the summer, beach trash is a problem dealt with each year. In an effort to control the problem, the Surfrider foundation implemented the “please leave only your footprints” campaign.
“We believe we are making headway on this with education,” said Terry Steimer of the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.
According to Steimer, the foundation will be expanding the campaign by building upon the efforts of the last two years. New aspects of the campaign will also be implemented as the Surfrider Foundation continues to spread the word on keeping the beaches clean.
Stenciling beach trashcans with the “leave your footprints only” logo has been an ongoing effort since last year. Students and other volunteers have helped the foundation stencil over 700 trashcans along the beach to remind beachgoers to leave trash in the receptacles. Trashcans at the Inlet were stenciled in Spanish last year with adhesive stenciling instead of spray-paint. This year Steimer hopes to avoid painting the cans and instead use adhesive back stencils on all of the trashcans to ensure longevity and readability. Steimer assured the Mayor and Council that the students would still be involved in the process.
Campaign advertising expanded last year to trash trucks, the convention center marquee and a banner at the Route 90 Bridge and was met with success, Steimer said. This year, footprints will be added to the slogan on the trash trucks to keep the slogan fresh and to attract attention.
“If this is all you see, then people start taking it for granted,” Steimer said.
A billboard ad was the major initiative slated for the third year of the program and is already well underway. The billboard, reminding incoming visitors not to litter, will stand just west of the Home Depot on Route 50.
Comcast and the students of Stephen Decatur High School will be contributing to the campaign this year through a public service announcement that will run throughout the summer. Steimer explained that Comcast provided funding to Stephen Decatur to create the public service announcement. As part of the deal, Comcast will run the commercial on 104 spots in May on the Spotlight Channel and across all channels throughout the summer.
The Mayor and Council applauded Steimer and the Surfrider Foundation for all of their efforts to keep the beaches in Ocean City clean.