Ocean City Committee Discusses Littering Complaints

OCEAN CITY – Complaints of litter along the streets and Boardwalk were discussed at length in a resort committee meeting last week, prompting members to seek solutions.

Last week, Ocean City Surf Club’s Effie Cox presented the Ocean City Coastal Resources Legislative Committee, or Green Team, with an update on the Adopt Your Beach program.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Cox told committee members last week several volunteers had recently signed up to participate in the Adopt Your Beach program, a grassroots effort to have the private sector supplement the town’s beach-cleaning efforts. As the name implies, individuals, groups, businesses, or even condominium associations can adopt a section of beach to clean at various times throughout the year.

“I’m having two or three people sign up on our website every single day for the last three weeks …,” she said. “A lot of people want to do beach cleanups.”

When asked if all areas of the beach were adopted, Cox said only a few streets remained.

“We had two areas up north the people didn’t’ confirm they would do it this year,” she said. “I believe it was around 60th Street.”

Cox noted that she’s had more inquiries about the Adopt Your Beach program than ever before. But despite a successful effort to maintain the beach and dune system, Councilman Tony DeLuca, committee liaison, noted the challenges of keeping the streets and Boardwalk clean.

“Cleaning the beach and dunes is sexy,” he said. “Cleaning the streets is not sexy. That’s where the litter is.”

DeLuca explained the town had received numerous complaints in recent weeks regarding street and Boardwalk litter.

“We’ve never gotten more complaints …,” he said. “I know public works is out there every day with the street cleaners and out on the Boardwalk … It seems like people are throwing things everywhere.”

Cox agreed. She also shared complaints she recently found on social media.

“Everything is disposable …,” she said. “I’m trying to encourage people to be part of the solution.”

Cox said the Ocean City Surf Club could encourage Adopt Your Beach volunteers to expand their cleanup efforts to include nearby streets. Officials said they would also reach out to Public Works Director Hal Adkins.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to do something that’s away from people and not inside,” said Gail Blazer, the town’s environmental engineer.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.