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Monday, June 24, 2024

As soon as dubbed ‘Ocean S****y,’ this trip spot is on observe to grow to be the primary zero-waste resort city in America


Ocean Metropolis, Maryland performs host to the acquainted sights, smells, and sounds of a coastal seashore city: the blinking neon lights of arcade video games, contemporary boardwalk fries, and the calls of seagulls. 

However Ocean Metropolis can also be identified for a fourth component: trash. 

For years it was laborious to stroll two steps with out recognizing discarded meals, cigarette butts, and plastic waste within the sand. Over time, locals and summer time vacationers alike started calling it by one other identify: “Ocean Shitty.” 

Josh Chamberlain, who grew up in Ocean Metropolis within the late Nineteen Eighties, is little doubt acquainted with the city’s popularity. But it surely doesn’t maintain him again — as a substitute, it turned the driving drive behind the environmental nonprofit Go Inexperienced OC

Beachgoers in swimsuits stand at the water's edge on the beach in Ocean City.
Beachgoers in Ocean Metropolis, MD. Picture through Austin Kirk / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Instantly after founding the group in 2018, Chamberlain started spearheading a citywide compost program. Thus far his staff has diverted over 650,000 kilos of meals waste.

“As people, all of us share one factor…all of us dwell on the planet collectively and we must always depart it higher than we discovered it,” Chamberlain advised WMDT

In early June, college students from Wicomico County Public College joined Chamberlain in a composting demonstration. For a lot of teenagers, it was their first time studying the way to compost

“It’s vital for us to achieve them at a younger age,” Chamberlain stated. “That is getting individuals hands-on, within the grime, seeing our sustainability efforts, it’s one in every of our high objectives for positive.”

In the course of the discipline journey, the Ocean Metropolis chapter of the Surfrider basis dropped by to donate to Go Inexperienced OC. The funds will go in the direction of upscaling composting efforts within the metropolis. 

“We simply work collectively, we have now an identical mission and objective of defending the surroundings and defending our oceans, our seashores, and we simply like to see him working in the direction of that zero waste objective in Ocean Metropolis,” stated Marina Feeser, Chair of the OC Surfrider Basis.

Chamberlain is grateful for the nonprofit’s progress as they enter their seventh season. Go Inexperienced OC began out with only a single truck and a small band of volunteers, and now they’re beginning to see some “severe change” within the metropolis. 

“We’re turning into a voice within the zero-waste house,” Chamberlain advised the Ocean Metropolis In the present day-Dispatch. “We’re turning into a mannequin.” 

On their web site, Go Inexperienced OC outlines their technique for turning into the primary zero waste resort city in america: eradicating 30% of natural waste by means of composting, introducing dual-stream recycling applications, and changing plastics with compostable merchandise on a town-wide scale. 

In 2023, Go Inexperienced OC additionally partnered with Oceans Calling, a three-day music competition on the Ocean Metropolis Boardwalk, to make it as eco-friendly as attainable. 

As headliners like Alanis Morissette, Noah Kahan, and The Lumineers performed, followers might use refillable water stations and compost their meals waste in bins alongside the boardwalk. 

“The volunteers collected 5,300 kilos of meals waste and compostable merchandise like forks, napkins, plates and bowls,” Chamberlain advised the Ocean Metropolis In the present day-Dispatch

On the competition, Surfrider’s Ocean Metropolis chapter additionally hosted a Rock and Recycle station, which inspired competition goers to gather recyclable cans on the seashore in change without cost merch. 

“Competition attendees might seize a bag stuffed with cans to recycle and in return obtain a free t-shirt,” Chamberlain stated. “They ran out of baggage and shirts by day two due to the recognition of this system.

This 12 months’s Oceans Calling competition is on September 27 by means of September 29. The lineup consists of headliners like The Killers, Blink 182, and The Dave Matthews Band. 

Because the live performance approaches, Chamberlain and his staff of volunteers set an formidable objective: triple their compost numbers from final 12 months.  

General, Go Inexperienced OC desires to vary the way in which their neighborhood views waste — and perhaps even discard it’s trashy nickname as soon as and for all. 

“Ocean Metropolis is performing some unimaginable inexperienced efforts and [no] one is listening to about them,” reads a press release on Go Inexperienced OC’s web site. “We have to be shouting them from the rooftop.”

Header Picture through Wikimedia Commons / Dough4872 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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