Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Ocean Pines Association are launching a collaborative campaign to improve the health of local waterways that hug the inland shores of Ocean Pines.
Eye-opening data from a relatively recent water quality report has positioned the St. Martin River as a top priority in the Ocean Pines community.
In an effort to save the bay, Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Association are hosting Ocean Pines Bay Day, a free public event, on Sunday, May 20 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at White Horse Park.
The family event aims to capture the interest of all age groups through hands-on activities, free boat rides and kayaking, presentations and demonstrations.
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 walk through the life-size replica.
“The beauty of bringing together such unique organizations such as forestry, ocean, and bay-based groups is that our message is still the same – to protect and conserve what we work on, live on and adventure on. In this case, it is Maryland’s watersheds,” said Liz Vander Clute, education coordinator at Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
Nature-inspired artwork from Worcester County students will also be on display at the event.
The first 300 attendees will receive a tote bag that was hand-painted by students from Cedar Chapel Special School, Berlin Intermediate School, and Pocomoke middle and high schools.
“This watershed celebration will allow us to restate our commitment to the health of the St. Martin River, and bring folks who live, recreate and enjoy this wonderful natural resource together to plan for future management and protection of the river and bays,” said Frank Piorko, executive director of Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
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.
“There are so many resources right in our backyards; some just may be more hidden than others,” said Vander Clute. “This day will hopefully open people’s eyes to what lies right within their reach in Worcester County, and instill a deeper sense of place and responsibility to the Coastal Bay’s watershed.”