Tag Archives: Ocean City

WHITE MARLIN OPEN

Aug 2-6 – WHITE MARLIN OPEN. Free outdoor viewing of anglers bringing in daily catches. 3-9pm. Free. 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, Ocean City. www.whitemarlinopen.com.

WHITE MARLIN OPEN

Aug 2-6 – WHITE MARLIN OPEN. Free outdoor viewing of anglers bringing in daily catches. 3-9pm. Free. 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, Ocean City. www.whitemarlinopen.com.

WHITE MARLIN OPEN

Aug 2-6 – WHITE MARLIN OPEN. Free outdoor viewing of anglers bringing in daily catches. 3-9pm. Free. 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, Ocean City. www.whitemarlinopen.com.

WHITE MARLIN OPEN

Aug 2-6 – WHITE MARLIN OPEN. Free outdoor viewing of anglers bringing in daily catches. 3-9pm. Free. 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, Ocean City. www.whitemarlinopen.com.

WHITE MARLIN OPEN

Aug 2-6 – WHITE MARLIN OPEN. Free outdoor viewing of anglers bringing in daily catches. 3-9pm. Free. 3rd Street Bayside Ballpark, Ocean City. www.whitemarlinopen.com.

Protecting Ocean City Has Meant Damage to Assateague

By TYLER WEYANT and CLAIRE YAN
Capital News Service

OCEAN CITY — In 1933, a storm hit the Maryland coast so forcefully that it split one long barrier island into two, separating the Atlantic resort town of Ocean City to the north from the feral horse wildlife refuge of Assateague to the south.

Natural forces likely would have brought them back together, if the Army Corps of Engineers hadn’t installed a pair of stone jetties to keep them apart.

Ocean City took advantage of the new channel between protected lagoon and ocean to build up its sport fishing and commercial boating industry.

But Assateague Island did not make out as well in the divorce.

“When you benefit one part of the coast, you inevitably degrade other parts of the coast,” said Jeff Williams, senior scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey. “The Ocean City north jetty trapped sand moving in the southern direction, which starved the Assateague coast.”

Assateague Island, a slender 37-mile-long strip of land, lost as much as 35 feet a year until a decade ago, when federal and local governments began multimillion-dollar efforts to reduce the damage.

Now the challenge of preserving both Ocean City and Assateague Island is complicated by the effects of climate change. Sea levels have risen more than a foot in the last century and are expected to rise another 2 to 5 feet by the end of this century, accelerating shoreline erosion.

The impact has been especially severe on Assateague, which is home to the Assateague Island National Seashore, managed by the National Park Service, and Assateague State Park. The array of wildlife here includes an endangered bird, the piping plover, and an endangered plant, the seabeach amaranth.

But the rising waters also are attacking Ocean City’s heavily developed beachfront, which helps generate millions of dollars in tourism revenue for the state.

To protect the sandy shores of both Assateague Island and Ocean City, the Army Corps has carried out a Rube Goldberg-worthy assemblage of sand-sorting projects.

To make up for historic losses, the Corps in 2002 excavated approximately 1.4 million cubic meters of sand from Great Gull Bank, a shoal off the Assateague Island National Seashore. The dredged sand was added to Assateague Island beaches for replenishment. The cost of the project topped $13 million.

A $67-million, 25-year project began in 2003 to replicate the natural flow of sand that was disrupted by the jetties and inlet. Twice a year, a small mobile dredge with a hopper is used to excavate sand that has been diverted away from Assateague by the jetties and inlet. The sand then is deposited near the Assateague shore.

Meanwhile, the Army Corps periodically replenishes Ocean City’s beach by transporting up to 1 million cubic yards of sand that it dredges from the ocean floor 2 to 3 miles out to sea.

The city’s eighth beach replenishment since 1991 now is in the planning stage and could begin as early as this fall, said City Engineer Terry McGean.

The $10 million estimated cost will be split among the federal government and state, city and county governments. The federal government pays more than half.

The city estimates beach replenishment has prevented $238 million dollars in storm damages.

And the county’s tourism industry generates about $14 million in amusement, room and food taxes, according to the Worcester County Treasurer’s Office.

So the gains more than offset the cost of protecting Ocean City’s shore, McGean said.

“It protects the city,” he said. “Ocean City generates more money in federal tax dollars every year than the federal government has spent on the project. It allows us to remain an economic engine.”

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Motor Scooter Riders Raise Questions About Eye-Protection Law

By CHRIS LEYDEN
Capital News Service

COLLEGE PARK — A new law requiring motor scooter and moped users to wear helmets and eye protection has riders confused as to what should be shielding their eyes.

According to the law, riders who do not have a windscreen on their scooter or moped must have either a visor on their helmet or some other type of eye protection.

Buel Young, a spokesman for Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration, said the department adopts the federal standards set forth by the Food and Drug Administration for eye-protection devices.

The FDA standard says “eyeglasses and sunglasses must be fitted with impact-resistant lenses,” but it’s not always clear whether particular eyewear qualifies under the FDA’s detailed impact test.

This means “nearly everything that is out there” in terms of eye protection would count under the law, Young said. However, he emphasized riders should look on their eye-protective devices for a mark of approval by the FDA.

Marc Limansky, a spokesman for the University of Maryland Police Department in College Park, said when it comes to enforcement, his unit does not take an all-encompassing view. The university has more than 400 scooters registered with its transportation department.

“I wouldn’t go that far, to say anything covering your eyes would count,” said Limansky, who used the example of the type of small, round, glasses the late Beatles singer John Lennon wore as something his department would question.

It is up to officers to use their own discretion, Limansky said, when it comes to handing out violations regarding eye protection.

“Generally, people aren’t going to be stopped just for if they have the wrong glasses on,” said Limansky. The department, he said, is in an educational phase and only issuing citations to repeat offenders.

Jordan Daniels, a sophomore criminology major at the University of Maryland, said that unlike the cut-and-dried helmet aspect of the law, when it comes to eye protection he is unsure what he is allowed to wear.

“There’s no specifics of what kind of eye protection you have to wear. Like they don’t say you have to wear a certain type of goggles or you have to wear specific glasses,” said Daniels.

Daniels also said that riding at night is a problem under the new law. He said it is too difficult to see at night with sunglasses on, and so he often goes without eye protection.

Peter Berger, a junior double major in finance and physiology/neurobiology, agrees with Daniels that it is difficult to see, but still wears his tinted visor at night for fear of being pulled over. Berger said he has already been stopped in a parking garage for not having his visor down, but only received a warning.

“I think it’s less safe to wear a tinted visor at night, than to wear no visor at all,” he said. “I have considered not doing it, because it’s hard to see like potholes or people, but I mean I don’t want to get pulled over.”

Sgt. Marc Black, a spokesman for the Maryland State Police, notes that the law is still in effect at night, and riders should use common sense.

“They may not be in violation of the new scooter law, but it may not be the safest thing for them to wear sunglasses at night,” said Black.

Michael Levy, the public affairs officer for the Ocean City Police Department, where a helmet law has been in effect for over a year for rented scooters, agreed with Black when it comes to wearing tinted glasses at night.

“There is a common sense element that is very hard to enforce,” said Levy.

In Ocean City, Levy said an officer would probably stop and question someone wearing sunglasses at night, but it would depend on the situation whether they would be issued a citation.

Levy also sent out a warning to those heading to Ocean City who plan to ride or rent a moped or scooter.

“Here in Ocean City, you better have insurance, you better wear a helmet, and you better make sure you have eye protection.”

Offshore Wind in Md. Could Boost Recreational Fishing, Hurt Commercial Industry

By RACHAEL PACELLA
Capital News Service

ANNAPOLIS – If a wind farm is ever built off the coast of Ocean City, it could enhance recreational fishing by creating artificial reefs, but hurt commercial fishermen who dredge in the area by taking up valuable bottom with cables and lines.

A number of steps still need to be taken before the offshore farm, which could include between 50 and 100 wind turbines, becomes a reality.

Still, Catherine McCall, of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, said the department is taking steps now to minimize impacts on the fishing community.

“The largest impact could occur to gear types that tend to make contact with the bottom, so your trolls or your dredges. The connections between each of the turbines require cables or lines and you don’t want people dredging or trolling over that,” McCall said.

McCall said where dredging would be prohibited would be decided during the siting process. Depending on who installs the project, all fishing near the turbines could be prohibited for safety reasons.

Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2012 passed through the House of Delegates, but never came to a vote in the Senate. The bill is not necessary to build a farm, but would encourage construction by requiring that Maryland power suppliers get a certain amount of power from wind. Similar legislation is expected in 2013 as proponents continue to try to jumpstart wind farming in Maryland.

In the past, old subway cars have been sunk off the coast of Ocean City to create artificial reefs that benefit aquatic life. If built, the turbines would create a similar artificial reef.

“The base of every turbine you install, or at least the ones that are anchored into seafloor, have a rock scour, so that can almost act as an artificial reef,” McCall said. “And folks like to fish off of artificial reef structures because there is quite a unique fish community and invertebrate community,” McCall said.

Charter captain Jeremy Blunt, who has fished in the area for 16 years, agrees.

“Anything that creates more habitat is good for us,” Blunt said.

Blunt said additional habitat could help extend the season, and he thinks the turbines are large enough that fishermen wouldn’t run into them.

Captain Mark Sampson of the charter boat Fish Finder has worked in Ocean City fishing for 25 years. Sampson said he thought the turbines themselves could help business if people on charter trips want to go out and see the farm.

He said the turbines wouldn’t affect the scenery.

“We have plenty of empty ocean to look at, so anywhere there will be a wind farm would be a plus,” Sampson said.

But charter captain Mark Radcliffe, who has worked fishing in Ocean City for 30 years, is opposed to an offshore wind farm.

“I hate to see the ocean peppered with stuff like that,” Radcliffe said.

Radcliffe said he is concerned about the impacts electric current moving underwater could have on fish, and would like to see some studies done.

Tracey Moriarty, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said her agency and the Department of Energy are conducting studies to determine the potential effects of electromagnetic fields on fish and lobsters. Another study is under way to develop best management practices for the offshore wind industry to offset impacts on recreational and commercial fishermen.

McCall, of the Department of Natural Resources, said when they first started looking into offshore wind they reached out to the fishing community in order to better understand how the two can work together.

“We really didn’t have a significant amount of data about where people were fishing, what kind of fishing gear they were using in certain areas, about how much of their catch was coming from particular areas,” McCall said.

To fill in those gaps the department started talking with the community. They held meetings and sent out mailers so fishermen could circle which waters they used. They asked what gear type they used, and what species they were after.

“We took a lot of the information we collected from these groups and made recommendations to the Federal Offshore Wind Energy Task Force to reduce a portion of the wind energy area to avoid some of the most significant conflicts that we knew about,” McCall said.

John R. Martin, president of the Martin Fish Company in Ocean City, said they had done a good job of involving the fishing community so far.

“Rather than being an opponent of something that’s good change, we’d rather be a part of it,” Martin said.

DEW Tour

The DEW Tour brings the top skateboarders and BMX riders in the world to compete on the vert ramp, BMX park and skate bowl set up right off the Ocean City boardwalk. Other highlights include giveaways, autograph signings, surf contests, and live music. On the beach at Inlet Parking Lot, Ocean City.

at Inlet Parking Lot, Ocean City, MD

www.allisports.com/dew-tour/event/ocean-city-2012

Thur, Aug 16 9:00a
Fri, Aug 17 9:00a
Sat, Aug 18 9:00a
Sun, Aug 19 9:00a

Ocean City Home Approved To Use Wind Power

An Ocean City family has been granted approval to install wind turbines on the roof of their home on the boardwalk, unanimously approved by the town council. The three turbines will be the first to be installed on the roof of a single-family residence in the resort town. Municipal Planning and Development Director Jesse Houston told the council that the turbines will be the same color as the building’s roof and will make less noise than the town’s 55-decibel limit, which is about the sound of a normal conversation. At peak production, they will produce 7.5 kilowatts per hour. The family has been lobbying for permission to install the turbines on their home since 2011.