On Tuesday, June 29th, members from the Maryland Departments of the Environmental and Natural Recourses gathered with other Maryland and Ocean City officials to discuss the Gulf oil leak in Ocean City. The panel of Marylanders gathered at FishTales Restaurant on 23rd Street in OC to talk about our water. Some things mentioned were the spill’s progress, current impacts on local and migratory wildlife, and Maryland’s monitory prevention of the spill.
“While the science tells us that any impact along Maryland’s coast is highly unlikely, it’s our obligation to prepare it’s our obligation to prepare for the worst. That includes assessing potential impact on Maryland businesses, watermen, and environment,” said Governor O’Malley in his June 29th address.
Governor O‘Malley says, “Our beaches remain open, our seafood is fresh and safe, and our coastal tourism season is in full swing. We encourage everyone – citizens and visitors – to enjoy Maryland’s beaches, seafood and water-based recreational opportunities along our coast.”
Environmentalists from the University of Maryland Science staff believe that there is a slim chance that the liquid oil from the spill in the Gulf will reach the shores of Maryland. The oil spewing out of the deep water oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico since April 20th has yet to be completely stopped. This BP operated oil platform has been classified as one of the largest environmental catastrophe’s in United States history.
Ocean City, like many of the destroyed coastal communities in the Gulf, generates most of our revenue via tourism to our beaches. It is important to stop the oil from reaching our waterways, protect our wetlands, and ensure that our town’s way of life can continue undisturbed by the incident.
Governor O’Malley requested a ban on offshore oil drilling along the mid-Atlantic coast last month. Earlier this month Governor O’Malley launched the Coast Smart Website, a single source for available products and services to help local communities address coastal hazard risks, and Maryland’s Coastal Atlas, an online mapping and planning tool that allows Marylanders to explore data for coastal and ocean planning activities, including renewable offshore energy exploration.
The group discussed response capacities, available equipment, and clean-up scenarios in the unlikely event that oil does reach Maryland waters. By including our local Ocean City non-profits, businesses, business owners, and citizens, the group plans to stay on-top of the oil spill.
Ocean City’s biggest fans and support system do not want to see what would happen to our beloved Ocean City if the oil were to start depositing on our white sand. We hope that this catastrophe does not travel our way. Plans were arranged to help stop the oil from spreading further up the Atlantic coast and to help those communities that are already feeling the wrath of the mess in the Gulf.