Coastal Stewards is a Summer Youth Employment Program funded by President Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the National Park Service, and the Ocean City-Berlin Optimist Club. The program is managed by the Maryland Coastal Bays Program and Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences. Partner organizations include the Lower Shore Workforce Alliance, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague State Park, the Maryland Conservation Corps, Worcester County Tourism, and Grow Berlin Green.
In 2009, eleven Coastal Stewards were hired and trained to work as interpreters at Assateague and other local parks and museums. Throughout the summer, Coastal Stewards shared information about the coastal nature and heritage of the Delmarva Peninsula, and encouraged tourists to visit parks and museums. Stewards participated in scientific surveys and ecological restoration projects that help protect the land, water, wildlife, and heritage of Maryland's coastal and Chesapeake Bays. Coastal Stewards learned about "green" jobs, and networked with leaders in federal, state, and local government, non-profit organizations, and businesses.