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Ocean City honored at MML Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony

Ocean City, MD (October 18, 2016): The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland announced that the Town of Ocean City was one of 14 Maryland municipalities honored at the Sustainable Maryland Awards Ceremony at the Maryland Municipal League’s annual Fall Conference last Friday in Solomon’s, Maryland.

Sustainable Maryland is an initiative of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland that is designed to support Maryland’s 157 municipalities as they look for cost-effective and strategic ways to protect their natural assets and revitalize their communities. Using best practices in resource areas like water, energy, planning, health, food, and economy, a municipality can earn points toward sustainability certification. In addition, Sustainable Maryland offers a customizable menu of concrete actions, allowing communities to select initiatives that best fit their specific needs.

“We are surrounded by natural beauty in Ocean City, with pristine beaches and our breathtaking ocean and bay,” said Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan. “Our community, and specifically the town’s Green Team, has remained committed to preserving the natural beauty that exists in Ocean City by taking steps to be a more sustainable community.  Receiving the Sustainable Maryland Certified award was a team effort and an accomplishment that we are very proud of. As a town and a community we will remain committed to meeting our resort town needs, while also refusing to compromise the integrity of our community for future generations.”

 A detailed summary of Ocean City’s sustainability Actions can be found in their Certification Report, however; highlights of Ocean City’s accomplishments include:

  • As part of the Shore Power Project, completed a Municipal Carbon Footprint for the Town in 2015.
  • Designated a 2015 Tree City USA, which recognized the Town for meeting the program’s four requirements of having: a tree board, a tree care ordinance and an annual community forest budget of at least $2. Per-capita, and an Arbor Day observation and proclamation.    
  • Developed a Homeowner’s Guide to the Coastal Bays, including topics such as Green Gardening and Native Planting, recycling rules, and healthy housekeeping practices.
  • Conducted energy audits on a dozen town buildings in 2015.
  • Established a volunteer-based Dune Patrol, where residents clean and inspect their local dunes year-round and are part of bi-annual beach clean ups.

“This year’s Sustainable Maryland Certified municipalities featured both large cities and small towns, from both urban and rural parts of the state,” said Mike Hunninghake, Program Manager for Sustainable Maryland. “These communities, while differing in scale and demographics, all recognized the importance of addressing sustainability issues at the local level. We are especially pleased by the successful re-certification of all eight Sustainable Maryland Certified municipalities from 2013, which demonstrates the value communities place on our certification designation and the municipal Green Team/Action Plan framework.”

For more information about Sustainable Maryland: www.sustainablemaryland.com

Pictured above, Gail Blazer, Ocean City’s Environmental Planner, with the Sustainable Maryland Certified award at the Maryland Municipal League conference last Friday. 

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