Named Ambassador for Outdoor Recreation in Ocean City
June 29, 2021
“Deputy” Ambassadors help promote outdoor recreation in Maryland
A longtime marine conservation fishing club and nonprofit teaching autistic children to surf have been named Maryland Outdoor Recreation Ambassadors in Ocean City for their efforts to promote and expand access to the state’s outdoor recreation opportunities .
Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland’s Secretary of Commerce Kelly M. Schulz, and Maryland’s Natural Resources Secretary Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio named the ambassadors during the site visits to their facilities. As part of their responsibilities, the ambassadors will continue to work to promote the state’s status as a leading destination for outdoor leisure.
The newest group of Maryland Outdoor Ambassador organizations are:
Ocean City Marlin Club, represented by the club president Boz Jefferson. With roots in the 1930s, the Marlin Club sponsors one of Maryland’s premier pastimes through the organization many prominent fishing tournaments including the Poor Girls Open, the annual Small Boat Tournament, the annual Kid’s Classic, and the Labor Day White Marlin Tournament. The Marlin Club also worked closely with the state during the pandemic to develop COVID protocols to keep the tournaments in a safe, limited capacity. In addition to continuing the tradition of sport fishing and supporting the local and state economy, the club promotes the preservation of our waters and the creatures that live in them.
Surfer Healing, Ocean City, represented by the volunteer Dave Leiderman. Surfers Healing was founded by the parents of an autistic child and offers surfing lessons to children with autism. Many children with autism struggle with overstimulation, but the weightlessness and rhythms of the ocean provide a therapeutic experience and a respite from the constant assault on their senses. This non-profit organization operates worldwide and hosts summer camps in Ocean City every year.
“Representing” ambassadors was one of the recommendations of the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic (MORE) Commission, which Governor Larry Hogan set up by executive order in 2017.
Maryland’s outdoor recreation economy creates 109,000 direct jobs, $ 14 billion in consumer spending, $ 4.4 billion in wages and salaries, and $ 951 million in state and local tax revenue. Nationwide, the outdoor recreation industry generates $ 887 billion in consumer spending, supports $ 7.6 million jobs, and provides $ 125 billion in federal, state, and local tax revenues annually.