May has been a busy month for our chapter and we wanted to share all the good news from the month with you! Read on to see what our chapter volunteers have been up to in the last month.
Northeast ESA Regional Contest
OC was lucky enough to host the Northeast Eastern Surfing Association (ESA)’s regional contest, the weekend of May 14-16, and we were happy to be right there in the middle of it! Our goal was to reduce single-use plastics on the beach by providing contestants with cold water and gatorade to fill their reusable cups with. It was a hit with the contestants and spectators and we had some nice waves for the weekend! Huge shoutout to our volunteers who helped at our table and a big congrats to chapter members Cat and Seamus for surfing so well in the contest! We will also be attending all of the Delmarva ESA Summer Series contests to provide water for those as well.
Joint Beach Cleanup with Surfrider Delaware
On Saturday, May 22 our chapter and the Delaware chapter combined forces and met for a beach cleanup right at the Maryland-Delaware state line. It was a gorgeous sunny day and we collected over 30 pounds of trash with over 40 volunteers in attendance. Top items collected that day were cigarette butts, plastic fragments, plastic food wrappers, foam fragments, and lots of construction materials. 30 pounds of small pieces of plastic & foam is quite a lot, great work volunteers!
Cambria Hotel Ribbon Cutting
We were truly honored to be invited as special guests to the ribbon-cutting of the Cambria Hotel Ocean City – Bayfront in late May. The hotel is beautiful, the event was lovely, and we were full of gratitude to Cambria for presenting our chapter with a $1,000 check to help us further our local efforts to protect OC’s beaches and waves. We were impressed with the bamboo cutlery and plates used for the event and the vegetarian food options — way to think sustainably! Many thanks to the staff of the Cambria, we are so grateful.
A big congratulations to the newest graduating class of Seahawks! The class of 2021 was celebrated in town with a boardwalk parade. Chapter secretary Mandi had asked organizers of the event if it could be requested that balloons not be used as decorations on the vehicles this year, as it was too easy for them to get away from the cars and end up as litter on the beach. We’re happy to say we saw a mostly balloon-free event, and we couldn’t be more proud! Especially after the good news that the Maryland state mass balloon release ban has officially passed into law with the governor’s signature and will go into effect in October of this year. Thank you to all of our chapter activists who helped get this law passed! You can read more on our blog post, here.
Student Club News
Our chapter recently helped the Pocomoke Middle School Surfrider student club fund a new water bottle refill station for their school. COVID-19 restrictions had shut down their normal water fountain use, so water refill stations were a way for students to stay hydrated without using single-use plastics. We got an update from club advisor, Karen, that the water station was well-used in it’s first month and it kept nearly 500 plastic bottles from being used according to the station’s refill counter.