The Protect Our Sand and Sea campaign is an initiative to reduce the plastic waste stream in Ocean City, and has been developed as the next step to reducing plastic distribution from businesses by the Ocean City Green Team. The campaign consists of several source reduction pledges. Businesses can choose to participate in any one of the five pledges to avoid single use plastics.
This is an optional and eco-friendly source reduction program to encourage businesses to voluntarily commit to make greener choices. Businesses that commit to the program receive recognition through social media, newspaper advertisements, and are provided marketing tools.
Thanks to funding from Keep America Beautiful and Worcester County Health Department, Ocean City launched a responsible cigarette butt disposal and recycling program last year in conjunction with the Protect Our Sand and Seas campaign.
Businesses willing to take the pledge to commit to recycling cigarette butts received a free butt hut and signage. And the town posted additional butt huts at boardwalk entrances—as smoking is banned on the boardwalk—and agreed to participate in recycling cigarette butts.
To date almost 500,000 cigarette butts have been recycled. This summer the town will be receiving four benches made from recycled cigarette butts to promote the proper discarding of cigarette butts and recycling.
Since 2009 MCBP has worked on programs to hire watermen to retrieve abandoned crab pots, referred to as ghost pots. These ghost pots have the tendency to continue to capture animals for several years, causing high rates of by-catch and self-baiting. By-catch include numerous fish species, Diamondback terrapins, ducks, and otters.
This year the program has received funding to coordinate a “Ghost Pot Rodeo,” a community initiative to educate residents on the perils of abandoned pots and encourage them to participate in a retrieval program.
Anyone interested in joining a committee to help organize and promote this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.