After April 30th, pets are no longer allowed on the beaches of Ocean City. We are all so fortunate that we are to be able to walk our 4-legged-friends in such beautiful locations by the water. With this said, please remember to clean up after your pets! Water quality is impacted by an urban pollutant many of us choose to pay little attention to: dog waste.
The presence of pet waste in storm water runoff has several negative implications of urban water quality and perhaps one of the greatest impacts being fecal bacteria. According to recent research conducted by the Watershed Protection Agency, non-human waste represents a significant source of contamination and bacteria in local watersheds. The bacteria from pet feces can pose health risks to humans and other animals and spread disease.
According to a Chesapeake Bay survey, 44% of all dog walkers in the Maryland area do not pick up their pet waste. The reluctance of many residents, tourists, and visitors to handle pet waste is the biggest limitation to controlling pet waste.
Between October 1st and April 30th, pet owners are expected to clean up their pet waste when they bring their pets to the Ocean City beaches. During the 6 month period when pets are not permitted on the beaches it is still important to remove any waste deposited on public or private property not owned by the handler or owner in possession of the pet. In many parks and public places you can find a “pet poop bag” station. Waste bags are available and a trash can to dispose of the waste.
Who likes seeing pet waste in their yard, park, or garden? No one. Please remember to clean up after your pet to reduce negative implications in the future. Do your part and educate your fellow dog walkers. Please follow the Ocean City town guidelines so our pets can share the beautiful parks, beaches, and walks in our coastal community.
Hopefully you have had fun with your pets on the Ocean City beaches all off-season long. Enjoy this weekend with your pet on the beach! Remember that Ocean City is a coastal community that thrives on our waterways. Keep our waterways clean and pick up after your pet!