This weekend the 50th anniversary of Assateague Island National Seashore will be celebrated with several events. Earlier this summer, Assateague Island State Park had a similar event.
Around these parts, Mother Nature holds all the proverbial cards. It’s oftentimes the difference between good fortune and misery for local businesses, governments and workers. On the more drastic level, it can be life changing when it comes to property damage and loss of human life.
Fifty years ago, although it surely didn’t seem that way at the time, Mother Nature did us all a huge favor when it comes to Assateague Island, which is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the area’s crown of special offerings.
Assateague Island was well on its way to becoming a residential community in the late-1950s and early-1960s until a major storm — later called the “Ash Wednesday” event — on March 6, 1962 wrecked the island, destroying roads and nearly all the structures that had been built as part of an early residential development. Prior to this storm, there were several attempts to safeguard the island from development in favor of a state and federal park. It took Mother Nature’s wrath to further those efforts.
Thanks to its pristine views, coastal resources, waterfront camping and ocean and bay recreational opportunities, Assateague Island — whether it be the Maryland, Virginia or federal areas — is a special place. In 2014, it’s estimated that 2.1 million visitors came to Assateague, spending upwards of $90 million in surrounding areas. That economic impact equates to a support of 1,241 jobs in the local area.
This region has a love-hate relationship with the weather. It can make or break a weekend or a season for the private sector as well as government operations. With so many dependent on the weather for financial success in this area, it’s ironic that Mother Nature did us one huge favor 50 years ago when it prevented private development on Assateague and forced government officials to do what was being sought for so many years — entering into an agreement to make it a natural resource forever. It might not have seen like a blessing back then, but time has confirmed it was, at least as far as Assateague Island is concerned.
We are a society that loves signs. They can point us in the direction we want to go, and they can show us when we have strayed from our path. They can often tell us what we can do and what we can’t in a particular area, and sometimes, signs are just meant to boast our passion or support for … Continue reading
Ocean City’s proposed ordinances — reactions to concerns over disturbing antics at recent automobile events — are intentionally heavy handed. They can be successful if the proper judgment and discretion is used by the Ocean City Police Department. The proposed ordinances make drinking alcohol from open containers illegal on private business lots, extend the summer-time ban on trailer parking on … Continue reading
There were two significant developments this week in the war on opioid abuse, which has reached crisis proportions in nearly every community across this country. No area — urban or rural — is being spared the tragic consequences of the horrific addiction that comes with heroin abuse, which oftentimes begins with prescription drug usage at home and morphs into a … Continue reading
The days of cookouts and recreational enjoyment are seemingly numbered for a sandy spit in the coastal bays watershed that has taken on the unofficial name of “Flag Island.” Back in July, we were the first to report on the grassroots effort by a local boat captain to erect a flag pole on the restored island. Even before the flag … Continue reading
It might not be a major crowd or economic generator for the resort as a whole, but the Surfers Healing event — held each August in Ocean City — is certainly the most inspirational special event held in Ocean City. Surfers Healing was founded in 1996 as a traveling day-long surf camp that takes kids with autism surfing. The campaign … Continue reading
You either have courage and good instincts or you don’t and clearly Michael Friedlander has both along with a caring soul. It was Tuesday morning and Friedlander, a 14-year-old Montgomery County man, was waxing his board for an early morning surf session when he heard an inexperienced ocean swimmer reportedly screaming in distress. Without giving it any thought, he grabbed … Continue reading
All the complaints heard this week from the street performers were predictable and should have been music to the ears to those who crafted the new ordinance. The buskers’ issues with the new regulations were exactly the intent. “The system they implemented is not working whatsoever … It has segregated us to the point of first-come, first-serve. People are showing … Continue reading
Is Ocean City government better today than it was three years ago? That’s the question to consider when judging former City Manager David Recor’s short tenure. It’s a loaded question with no easy answer, but we would say Recor is generally leaving the city better off than he found it. One thing is for sure it was not a smooth … Continue reading
Some of the biggest headlines for much of this summer have involved marine life in the ocean, but the dramatic rescue by a local man of a visiting family in Nantucket last week serves as a reminder of what’s truly the biggest summer danger. Sure, salps, Portuguese Man O’ War and hammerhead sharks have been seen this summer on the … Continue reading