Ocean Pines Bay Day Offerings, Water Quality Push

A wave of excitement floods Worcester County as the fast-approaching Ocean Pines Bay Day secures a line-up of highly acclaimed guest speakers and vendors that are local favorites.

Ocean Pines Bay Day, which is hosted by Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Ocean Pines Association, is set for Sunday, May 20 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at White Horse Park.

The event will showcase food from local vendors such as Street Kitchen, Gilbert’s Provisions, Eastern Shore Kettle Korn, the Kiwanis Club of Ocean Pines/Ocean City and Baked Desserts; local beer from Burley Oak; nature-inspired artwork from area school children and a save-the-bay campaign that aims to improve the health of waterways that shoulder Ocean Pines.

“There will be hand-painted canvas bags handed out to the first 300 individuals who come through the entrance,” said Liz Vander Clute, education coordinator at Maryland Coastal Bays Program. “These “bay-inspired” bags were decorated by students from five different schools in Worcester County.”

From free boat rides and kayaking to educational exhibits, this public event will be a day of fun, hands-on activities and educational talks.

Event speakers include Ginny Rosenkraz, commercial horticulture, Master Gardener coordinator; Bryan Gomes, education program manager at Oyster Recovery Partnership; Frank Piorko, executive director of Maryland Coastal Bays Program; Roman Jesien, Maryland Coastal Bays Program; and Dave Brinker, regional ecologist for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Conservation partners from Assateague State Park, Pocomoke River State Park, Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Naturally Sunkissed Farm and Delmarva Discovery Center and Museum will be in attendance. They will offer event participants the opportunity to meet animals like birds, fish, goats, and snakes.

The National Aquarium will have a 56-foot inflatable sei whale on display, giving visitors access to walking through the life-size replica.
Ocean Pines Bay Day will serve as a catalyst to a year-long campaign to raise awareness and educate residents on environmentally friendly practices that could enhance the quality of local waterways.

Beginning on Tuesday, May 1, water sample collection bottles will be available in the lobby of the Ocean Pines Community Center, located at 235 Ocean Parkway.

Residents will be able to bring samples of water that were collected from neighborhood waterways to the Ocean Pines Bay Day event to get them tested for nitrates and phosphates, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, salinity, and acidity.

“This program will help us get a detailed snapshot of the health of the St. Martin River in Ocean Pines,” Zach Garmore, project manager with Maryland Coastal Bays Program. “The more people who help us by bringing their water samples, the more accurate the snapshot will be. Additionally, folks who bring samples or visit our booth will be able to get information and assistance on how to help play a role in the health of the water around them.”

The Maryland Coastal Bays Program is a 501 (C) (3) consensus non-profit, partially funded by the EPA, dedicated to protecting the coastal bays behind Ocean City and Assateague Island through education and restoration projects. For more information, contact Denise Sawyer, director of marketing and public relations for the Ocean Pines Association, at (410) 641-7717 ext. 3006 or dsawyer@oceanpines.org.

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