Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Ocean Pines Association are continuing a collaborative conservation campaign to improve the health of waterways that shoulder the residential shores of Ocean Pines.
“Area residents take pride in their coastal community, which is why the Association has positioned the St. Martin River as a top priority in Ocean Pines,” said Denise Sawyer, marketing and public relations director for the Ocean Pines Association. “The hardworking folks with Maryland Coastal Bays Program are passionate about teaching watershed residents in Ocean Pines to make a positive impact on the Coastal Bays.”
Maryland Coastal Bays Program and the Association are hosting a 2nd Annual Ocean Pines Bay Day, a free public event, on Sunday, May 5 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at White Horse Park, located at 235 Ocean Parkway.
The family event aims to capture the interest of all age groups through hands-on environmental activities, free boat tours and kayaking, live music by The String Beanz, a bay-friendly garden demonstration and live animal exhibits.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Ocean Pines for a second year on this event,” said Liz Wist, education coordinator at Maryland Coastal Bays Program. “When Coastal Bays and the Association first sat down to discuss event goals, we all agreed that we want there to be a little something for everybody. People should feel welcome to stay all day, learning from environmental organizations and participating in the various hands-on activities.”
New this year is an interactive workshop pavilion, a recycling corner and live interactive artwork. The workshop pavilion will include on-site construction of bird, bat and bee homes; seed bomb creation and an interactive bottle cap art piece.
“I am particularly excited about the workshop pavilion. Our hope is that everyone that comes through can leave with an item that can help make their backyards more bay-friendly,” said Wist.
Conservation partners from Assateague State Park, Pocomoke River State Park and Chincoteague Bay Field Station are just a few of the 30+ exhibitors that will be in attendance. They will offer event participants the opportunity to meet animals like birds, fish 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.
Some attendees will receive a tote bag that was hand-painted by students from Cedar Chapel, Berlin Intermediate, Showell Elementary, Stephen Decatur Middle, Pocomoke Middle and Elementary, Snow Hill Middle and Little Dreamers Wellness Center.
“We are excited to be continuing the momentum that we began last year by offering even more for watershed residents to explore in the 2019 Bay Day,” said Frank Piorko, executive director of Maryland Coastal Bays Program.
Ocean Pines Bay Day will continue to serve as a catalyst to a year-long campaign to raise awareness and educate residents about environmentally friendly practices that could enhance the quality of local waterways.
“During the past year since the inaugural Bay Day event, we have had a lot of interaction with the Ocean Pines Association and area residents on improving the watershed habitat and water quality of the St. Martin River. We hope the positive trend continues,” said Piorko.