Signs reminding beach goers to “leave only your footprints” are posted at most of the entrances to the Ocean City, MD beach.
Apparently some people didn’t get the message, as over 800 lbs. of trash was picked up during the International Coastal Cleanup in Ocean City.
“We found glass bottles, body boards, all different kinds of things,” said Pat Mille.
But the organizers say cigarette butts were by far the worst.
Over 200 volunteers, armed with rubber gloves and plastic bags, put in upwards of 700 hours cleaning the beaches.
“I come to this beach everyday,” explained Harrison, “After October 1st, I plan on walking my dog here and I don’t want her to sniff around in cigarette butts and eat styrofoam.”
Volunteers from local businesses and organizations all lent a helping hand, including a group of Stephen Decatur High School students.
Ally Cordial, a Senior at Stephen Decatur, said it wasn’t a bad way to spend a Saturday.
“It’s good to give back. We’re helping the community, helping wildlife and the town we live in.”
The trash collected in the cleanup was recorded and will be reported to the Ocean Conservancy who reports in 2015 almost 800,000 volunteers collected over 18 million pounds of trash world wide.
Locally, the cleanup efforts will continue year round thanks in part to Adopt Your Beach. A program that was implemented in March of this year, that has already 130 of the 147 streets adopted.
It’s a program that has Ocean City Council Member, Tony Deluca, excited.
“It give you a sense of pride. If you adopt your beach and you see a piece of paper, you’re going to pick it up rather than walk by it. We just think it really just makes it cleaner and cleaner and cleaner.”
If you’re interested in adopting a beach in Ocean City, visit the Ocean City Surf Clubs website.