The club has its own consultant, Mary Wilding, who updates members each month on such important topics as seismic testing, fracking, pollution, sea-level changes, and other threats to our environment.

Mary also solicits volunteers for local clean-up projects that keep our island safe and beautiful.


Consultant Mary Wilding goes to great lengths to raise our awareness of threats to the environment, even becoming a “Bag Lady,” which means donning a suit of plastic bags–made from the exact number each of us discards every year!

Beach Sweeps

Under the direction of Mary Wilding, our Environmental Consultant, Garden Club members participated in the 32nd Annual Statewide Clean Ocean Action Beach Sweeps. Our group included Mary Wilding, Maryann Chatfield, Pam Masturzo, JoAnne McKee, Jeannette Michelson and Ginny Scarlatelli. The ladies worked to make a difference for clean water and the environment by sweeping clean the dyke beach at High Bar Harbor.

A grand total of 448 items were collected in a short period of time. Over 90% of the items were plastic of all shapes and sizes.

(l to r) JoAnne McKee, Pam Masturzo, Mary Wilding, Maryann Chatfield, Ginny Scarlatelli
Mary Wilding hard at work

September Meeting Notes

All of us with family, friends, homes etc. in Texas and Florida have sure had a reminder about Mother Nature being in charge….I hope no one has had news of any loss of life and hopefully no great loss of property etc. Bob and I have been blessed that all of our circle have dodged the bullet. Our hearts go out to those less fortunate.

A Plastic Ocean

These storms sure bring home how very important the ocean is in our lives, which brings me to September 23 and Clean Ocean Action’s film “A Plastic Ocean”. I want to thank Peg Appelget, Ellie Ehnot, Lois Ernst, Bev Reitinger, and Chris Vohden for putting up this poster in each of their communities. There is also one on the Bulletin Board in the hall. I hope you will come for refreshments at 5:30, the film screening at 6:30 and stay for the panel discussion at 8:30. Our Garden Club is a sponsor for this very informative and important film. It took over 4 years to produce and filming took place around the globe. There is a $5 charge to help defray expenses. I hope to see lots of you a week from this Saturday at the Ship Bottom Fire House.

Pinelands Preservation Alliance

The Pinelands Commission’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting is being held today – Sept. 13. On the agenda is the vote on the New Jersey Natural Gas pipeline projected to run from Chesterfield to Manchester. The Pinelands Preservation Alliance believes this pipeline is unneeded and would be a threat to the Forest Preservation Area it would cross. There is also a vote on a resolution to better protect Wharton State Forest. I will send out a Blast as soon as I get more information about the meeting outcome.

Southern Pine Beetle

On to the southern pine beetle that is leaving more and more pine trees as brown, lifeless forms on LBI. Angela Andersen advised on 9/8/17 “ The report from the forester was not specific to beetles but more of an overall management plan for plantings /trees in LBT for town properties – We are still looking to experts for guidance but think it seems pretty clear we need to revegetate as the trees die.”

In speaking to the Agricultural Agent at Rutgers, Richard Vanranken, he provided a website with the following information: The Southern pine beetle is one of the most destructive forest insects, is smaller than a grain or rice, feeds on living tissue under the tree’s bark and is a considerable threat to our state’s forest resource. It re-entered the state in 2001 and since then has been on the rise. In 2008, it crossed the Egg Harbor River, entered forests in Atlantic County and moved north and west…including LBI. The tree crown shows the first signs of infestation when it rapidly turns from healthy green to yellow, red and finally brown as the tree stops circulating water.

It also states you can reduce the risk of outbreaks. Trees under stress become susceptible to the beetle while healthy, strong trees resist attacks. Ben Wurst of Conserve Wildlife provided a website, https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/plantandpestadvisory/2011/ln092211.pdf) and quoted the last paragraph,

“Since pine wilt disease is more prevalent in trees (especially older ones) suffering from abiotic stresses, the maintenance of plant vigor through proper pruning, irrigation, and fertility is of primary importance. Healthy trees are also less susceptible to invasion by beetles. Routine, prompt removal of dead and dying plant material will reduce populations of both the nematode and its beetle vector.” “Abiotic” which I had to look up, means non-living chemical and physical parts of the environment that affect living organisms such as drought and lack of nitrogen. So it sounds like fertilizing your healthy pines and caring for them would be helpful.

I am waiting to hear back from an arborist who worked with both Rutgers University and NJ Department of Environmental Protection in Atlantic County about what they found was most effective, as well as a representative of the State Forestry Program in Trenton for additional information.

LBI Foundation

I’m very happy to report that Kline Brothers will be taking the dead pines down around the wetllands of the LBI Foundation. Ginny Scarlatelli was a strong advocate for saving one of the few natural areas of any size on our island. So many of us visit that area as to visitors to LBI. Stay tuned.

The LBI Foundation is excited to celebrate the Barnegat Bay’s rich history of shellfish, farmers and Baymen with their 4th Annual Shellfish Soiree on Friday, Saturday September 29, 2017. Please see the Bulletin Board in the hallway for more information.


Oceana is asking we contact our representative to stop the government from funding new drilling and to protect our coast and promote healthy oceans and coastal communities from the risk of spills. You can join more than 130 east coast communities, nearly 1,200 bipartisan elected officals and an alliance representing 41,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families who have publicly opposed offshore drilling. I know other organizations have asked for support, but this is a big item that needs repeated attention. Please just click on…


I will send you the website in a Blast, but wanted to make sure you knew it would be coming.

Climate Change

Increasingly powerful hurricanes like Harvey and Irma — and their immense human toll — make it clear that we can’t wait any longer to seriously address climate change. We need Congress to take swift action. Representative Tulsi Gabbard just introduced the strongest bill of its kind in Congress to transition the country to 100% renewable energy by 2035. The Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), just introduced in the House of Representatives, is based on the most recent climate science. “ It calls for a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035, with 80% of that by 2027, recognizing that swift action in the next 10 years is critical for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. It would end fossil fuel subsidies, place a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, ban the export of oil and gas, and call for a just transition for those most impacted, including communities of color and low-income areas on the front lines of climate and pollution fights. It’s a truly ambitious plan that recognizes the severity of the climate crisis and what it will take to prevent further harm to people here at home and around the world.”

Tulsi Gabbard and bill co-sponsors Nanette Barragan, Keith Ellison, Barbara Lee, Ted Lieu, Jamie Raskin and Jan Schakowsky — need to know that we’re behind them. Reluctant leaders do too. No matter where our representative stands on climate change, it’s important that they hear from you. Food & Water Watch have provided this website where you can let your voice be heard. I will include this information in the Blast so that if you chose, you can take action easily. https://secure.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/Advocacy;jsessionid=00000000.app325a?pagename=homepage&page=UserAction&id=3063&autologin=true&NONCE_TOKEN=F01C9B947E3BB11C14F32D85EB1E5F10.

Mary Wilding, Environmental Consultant