Surfrider Foundation, Ocean City, Maryland Chapter
2017 Year-End Newsletter
Surfrider Foundation, OC Chapter had a great year in 2017. We added many new members; participated in several successful events; raised money for our chapter; made new friends and most importantly-we made a lasting impact on members of the Ocean City community. Here in our year-end newsletter we highlight a few of our hallmark accomplishments. Enjoy and think about how you can get involved in 2018!
Several members participated in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s always cold but we never fail to get some folks out to promote our cause and find new members.
We held a fundraiser at Fager’s Island Restaurant, where we handed out information on campaigns, signed up new members, sold some merchandise, and attendees enjoyed food and drinks.
Mother’s Cantina became the first Ocean City restaurant to register as an Ocean Friendly Restaurant through Surfrider Foundation. Congratulations to them! If you haven’t been to Mother’s, check it out; their vibe and their food are awesome!
We had a booth at Springfest on the boardwalk. It was a successful fundraiser for our chapter, and we recruited several new volunteers!
Our members participated in Surfrider’s worldwide Hands Across the Sand event, showing solidarity against offshore drilling.
Members participated in Surfrider’s International Surfing Day. Volunteers set up a table at Assateague Island Surf Shop, spoke to customers about our campaigns, and we signed up new members. Afterwards, folks surfed at Assateague and picked up trash.
AUGUST & SEPTEMBER
We participated in Delmarva ESA surfing events held on 35th Street. Members enjoyed speaking to the local surfing community and spectators about campaigns, volunteer opportunities & membership. We’re looking forward to continuing our participation in them next year.
One of our new campaigns is to promote recycling in Ocean City. At the ESA surf contests we were the recycling coordinators. We provided recycling services for the contests and talked with anyone who would listen about the importance of recycling. This campaign serves two primary purposes: (1) Make recycling available at all ESA contests and at any event in which we participate; and (2) Remind people that they can recycle even if Ocean City, as a town, does not. Our goal going forward is to promote recycling in OC, MD and convince event planners to incorporate recycling into their events.
Volunteers participated in beach cleanups throughout the year, including one in September for International Coastal Cleanup Day. Our members don’t need a designated cleanup day to pick up trash though. It’s a part of our daily routines!
Our chapter’s Chair and Volunteer Coordinator attended Surfrider’s East Coast Chapter Leadership Summit held in Charleston, SC. They attended a variety of sessions, shared ideas, and got resources to improve our local chapter’s goal of defending our beautiful coast.
Our chapter was excited to collaborate with Salisbury University’s Communications students on their Ocean-Friendly Restaurant project, designed to encourage and expand the OFR program. We’ll use their data to continue building on the program locally. The students presented their project at the end of the semester.
THROUGHOUT THE YEAR
Our members engage and interact with our community in several ways. We hold tabling events, social events, trash pick ups, and use our voices to encourage elected officials and community members to take care of our coast. This year, our Chair and Vice Chair wrote letters to the editors of local newspapers concerning the dangers of offshore oil drilling off our coast, as well as explained the problems with styrofoam use near waterways. Our Volunteer Coordinator gave testimony before the Maryland House of Delegates on a bill to ban single-use styrofoam containers statewide.
We know there’s strength in collaboration with other environmental organizations, as well as members of the community. Working with groups such as Assateague Coastal Trust, Trash Free Maryland, and Oceana makes us all more successful in protecting our coast. We appreciate their support. In June, we joined forces with ACT and Oceana to hold a public informational session to discuss the problems with oil and gas drilling off our coast.
We hold chapter meetings monthly, and encourage people to join us and help us build our chapter! We usually meet at Longboard Cafe and appreciate the restaurant accommodating us.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE-2018
Our beautiful coast is under constant threats. We need all the help we can get to protect it! Even though we’ve grown this past year, we’d love to welcome more volunteers & members. We plan on continuing with our meetings, tabling events, cleanups, recycling, ocean-friendly restaurants program, informational social events, ESA surfing participation, and ocean-friendly gardens. Check out our ocean-friendly garden at Northside Park! We’ll be asking for volunteers to help spruce it up this spring. We’re always looking for ways to reduce plastics in our community. To start off the new year, we’re planning a movie showing on January 27th at our first ocean-friendly restaurant, Mother’s Cantina. Check out our event page on Facebook!
PLEASE JOIN US IN PROTECTING OUR COAST!