You Could Now Go to Prison For Feeding Seagulls in Ocean City

The mayor wants beachgoers to, please, refrain from provoking the “emboldened birds.”

Courtesy Dori via Creative Commons

Courtesy Dori via Creative Commons

Feed any seagulls in Ocean City this summer, and your nice beach trip could end with a three-month jail sentence.

In a letter released last week, the N.J. city’s mayor, Jay A. Gillian, warned beachgoers that punishments for feeding seagulls in Ocean City are about to be “strictly enforced.”

Beachgoers who feed the seagulls can be fined as much as $500 and face up to 90 days in prison.

“The Ocean City Police Department in recent years has taken a ‘be nice, be kind’ approach when it comes to minor infractions related to the beach and boardwalk,” Gillian wrote in the letter. “They try to issue only warnings. That will change.”

The city plans to distribute warnings in welcome centers and shops along the boardwalk, and a boardwalk announcement featuring Ocean City police chief Chad Callahan will be broadcast on the boardwalk to remind guests of the law.

Gillian said the city has received more complaints than usual this summer “as the emboldened birds try to take food from people on the beach and boardwalk.”

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