Bay Day, Marine Debris Plunder Planned In Ocean Pines

Bay Day, Marine Debris Plunder Planned In Ocean Pines
A variety of vendors will be on hand at White Horse Park as part of the annual Bay Day event. File Photo

BERLIN — The Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) and the Ocean Pines Association will host the 3rd Bay Day event on Sunday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at White Horse Park, located at 235 Ocean Parkway, in Ocean Pines.

Bay Day is a collaborative conservation effort aimed to help improve the health of the waterways that shoulder the residential shores of Ocean Pines. This free family-friendly event is guaranteed to capture the interest of all age groups through hands-on activities, free boat tours, live music, food trucks, live animal exhibits, and more.

“We are excited to be bringing Bay Day back this year after a brief hiatus due to COVID-19. Bay Day is a great way for community members to learn more about how they can make small changes that over time have a strong positive impact on our Coastal Bays,” said MCBP Education Coordinator, Liz Wist, “We are thrilled to collaborate with Ocean Pines for a third year on this event. People should feel welcome to stay all day; they can learn from environmental organizations, take a boat tour of the St. Martin, eat lunch and listen to music, pick up a native plant, and participate in various hands-on activities.”

There will be 30 conservation partners in attendance including Go Green OC, Ocean City Surf Club, Assateague State Park, Pocomoke River State Park, Assateague Coastal Trust, Lower Shore Land Trust and many more. The first 400 attendees will receive a canvas bag that was hand-painted by a student from the Worcester County Public School system.

Be sure to come with your hands full, as Go Green OC will be collecting compostables, and MCBP will be collecting plastic bottle caps, plastic grocery bags, and batteries for recycling. A secondhand book exchange will also take place at the Caprichos Books exhibit booth, so bring your gently used books for a swap.

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Ocean Pines Bay Day will continue to serve as a catalyst to a year-long campaign to raise awareness and educate residents on environmentally friendly practices that could enhance the quality of local waterways.

Also on May 15, the Ocean Pines community and Maryland Coastal Bays Program are hosting a marine debris plunder, from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Boaters and land lubbers alike are encouraged to join the plunder to pick up debris carelessly discarded in the bays, beaches and streets and bring their loot to the Ocean Pines White Horse Park Boat Ramp for a weigh-in. Captain Jack Sparrow, along with his pirate crew, will be on hand to assist with the weigh-in and properly dispose the debris.

You must preregister for this event either online at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program website www.mdcoastalbays.org, or call Sandi at 410-213-2297, ext. 106 and register by phone. Registration is now open. There will be no registration at the event.

Thanks to a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the support of Worcester County, supplies will be provided for those who preregister (while supplies last). Supply packets can be picked up at Pure Lure in the West Ocean City Harbor at a pre-arranged date.

When participants bring their loot to the weigh-in, the pirate crew will grab their trash and present them with an event t-shirt (while supplies last).

Boaters pursuing debris in the water, will receive specific instructions as to what is marine debris and what is a live trap as crabbing season is in effect. It is illegal to tamper with any live traps. Low tide for this day is at 1:38 p.m.

All participants will be asked to fill out data sheets on the debris. This data will be used for an outreach campaign next year reminding visitors of the importance of keeping the region’s waterways clean.