I was born and raised in Ocean City, Maryland and growing up there was always so special. People constantly ask me “do you actually live in Ocean City?” and “what is it like living there?”.
Well, to be honest, it is truly amazing. The summer seasons are always crazy with millions of tourists crowding the town, spending their money so carelessly, traffic backed up for miles, and lines every place you go. All these little problems are looked over because pretty much the only problem you have in the summertime in Ocean City is whether to go to the beach or go out on the boat. I know. Rough life, right?
Then time transitions into winter and the town is like a deserted wasteland. Tourists leave, renters’ time is up, and it’s just the people who are the ‘regulars’ of the town left to stay. A lot of people say that they like winter better than summer because it’s not as crowded and you can actually drive down the road. One of the biggest issues that summertime brings, though, is waste and pollution left in our city.
Pollution is one of the biggest problems in our society today. 35 billion plastic water bottles are thrown away every year, and the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year. Ocean City does a good job of handling all the tourists that come for a visit in the summertime, but you can only do so much when it comes to handling all the trash that is left behind by vacationers. Beach and ocean pollution is very important to me because it is killing marine life and turning away tourists wanting to come to our town for a vacation.
My family owns a real estate company on 79th street that has been established since 1984, and we rely heavily on tourism. Our annual sales are very much dependent on tourists coming to our town and buying or renting units. My point is that if our beach, ocean, and town as a whole is dirty and covered in waste, then nobody is going to want to come to Ocean City which will negatively affect our livelihood.
Ocean pollution is also very important to me and the town of Ocean City because it is killing off many marine animals such as fish and crustaceans. Over 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans, and plastic creates $13 billion of damage to marine ecosystems annually. The town of Ocean City heavily relies on its seafood and restaurant industry to bring in millions of dollars in revenue each year. Without the seafood, many local restaurants would struggle and most likely go out of business.
It takes an effort from everyone to conquer the waste and pollution problem not just in Ocean City, but in the world. People should care what is happening to our environment; specifically, our beaches and oceans because once they are hurt it is hard to retrieve them back. When people come visit Ocean City, just pick up after yourselves and limit the amount of waste you bring to the beach. Try and reduce, reuse, and recycle any materials that you can. If there is an opportunity for a community beach clean-up, then go join it and bring your family and friends! Instead of using plastic straws, try and use paper straws. Instead of using plastic bottles, use aluminum bottles, which are reusable. Everyone needs to take strides like these so that not only our town can remain clean, but every beach and ocean in the world can remain clean and healthy.
The town of Ocean City is a great place with great beaches, restaurants, businesses, and overall atmosphere. The goal is to keep it that way. With more and more people coming to visit, it’s hard to keep the beach clean, but with help from everyone it can be done. Treat the beach as if it were your home and clean up after yourself. Beach pollution leads to many other negative effects, so do as all the locals say and “leave only your footprints!”