Rescheduled Annual Marine Debris Plunder Set For Sunday

BERLIN — Due to Hurricane Ian, the Maryland Coastal Bays Program (MCBP) postponed the 3rd Annual Marine Debris Plunder to Sunday, Oct. 16.

Boaters and land lubbers alike are encouraged to join the plunder to pick up debris that has been carelessly discarded in the bays, beaches and streets and bring their loot to the West Ocean City 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 will properly dispose the debris.

Those that bring their loot by boat can pull up to the finger pier of the public boat ramp and the crew will unload and trade the trash collected for commemorative T-shirts while supplies last. Land pirates can pull up to the tent by the public rest rooms and volunteers will be on hand to assist with the loot and provide T-shirts as well.

Preregister for this event is required either online at the Maryland Coastal Bays Program website, 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, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Sandpiper Energy, supplies will be provided for those who preregister. Supply packets can be picked up at Pure Lure in the West Ocean City Harbor at a pre-arranged date.

The intent of this event is to engage the community in picking up debris in the waterways and streets and bringing it to one location where it will be weighed and disposed of properly. 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 waterways clean.

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 6:45 a.m.

Natural Resources Police will attend the event in case participants have any questions as to what is and is not marine debris.

Boaters will be encouraged to pursue abandoned crab pots, derelict crab pots that have been clearly abandoned and are sitting in shallow water and marshes. Every year crabbers lose their pots to careless boaters who do not pay attention and run over crab pot floats, floats identifying pot location. Once these floats are cut, the pot becomes untraceable until it washes into shallow water or on top of a marsh. Unfortunately, ghost pots continually re-bait as crabs crawl inside, eventually die and new crabs arrive to eat those. These ghost pots also trap and kill pretty much anything that fits, including terrapin, otter and fish.

For event specifics, go to or contact [email protected].