Green Team Survey Deadline Nears

OCEAN CITY – Officials say community members have until Sunday to complete an environmental survey, which will be used to develop a resort action plan.

In April, the Ocean City Coastal Resources Legislative Committee, also known as the Green Team, released a survey for both residents and visitors to gauge the community’s environmental interests, behaviors and needs.

Ocean City Environmental Engineer Gail Blazer, a Green Team member, said information gathered through the community survey will allow the committee to develop a three-year action plan, which will ensure the community’s wants are addressed in the goals that are set. She told committee members this week that individuals have until Sunday, May 15, to respond.

“This is what I need to develop our Green Team Action Plan,” she said. “Where do we want to go in the future? Where do we want to take our next step in the next five years?”

Blazer added that the action plan will also be used for the town’s Sustainable Maryland application.

Since 2011, Sustainable Maryland has supported the state’s 157 municipalities as they look for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities. Using best practices in areas such as water resources, energy, planning, health, food and economy, municipalities including Ocean City worked to earn points toward sustainability.

In 2016, Ocean City was recognized as one of 14 Sustainable Maryland Certified Award winners for its efforts in developing sustainable programs such as Adopt Your Beach and Adopt Your Street. And since it is a three-year program, the town will need to recertify in 2022. To that end, the Green Team has established a community survey ahead of the application deadline.

“The survey is an important aspect of the application,” Blazer said.

Blazer noted that preliminary results of the survey show nearly half of the 137 respondents are full-time residents of Ocean City and that 40% of respondents believe the resort to be heading in the right direction in terms of its environmental initiatives.

Blazer noted initiatives such as pollinator gardens were included in the town’s latest action plan and that the town was now looking to the community to develop new initiatives, which could include composting workshops.

“It will be on my Green Team Action Plan, to do composting workshops and maybe provide mini grants or a cost share for people who want composters,” she said.

The town is asking residents and visitors to visit and complete the brief Green Team Action Plan Survey by May 15.

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.