Environmental Chair 2022-2023: Mary Wilding.
The Environmental Committee updates members each month on important topics such as plastic pollution, climate change, local and national environmental issues, seismic testing and other issues related to our environment. The committee goes to great lengths to raise members awareness of threats to the environment as well as stewardship opportunities. Volunteers are solicited year round for local clean-up projects that keep our island safe and beautiful.  Volunteers  provide environmental information at community events and participate in a variety of projects including outreach on state mandates including banning straws except on request and distributing painted clam shells with a nautical theme and an environmental message.

The Bag Ban Update 2023

The Plastic Bag Legislation started  over a year ago, “Beginning on November 4, 2021, food service businesses shall only provide a single-use plastic straw to a customer upon request by the customer. Food service businesses are required to keep an adequate supply of single-use plastic straws.” Later that month, the Garden Club of LBI’s Environmental Committee members visited LBI and mainland restaurants and talked about the new law and provided a sign owners could display about the importance of cutting back on straws.

However, some places are still routinely serving straws, leaving them on the table or including them in take-out orders.   We just received more information from the founder of “The Last Straw” which confirms it is important for us to address the need to follow the law regarding straw distribution and eliminate plastic straws as much as possible.

Five hundred million plastic straws are used each day in just the US – enough to circle the earth 2 ½ times or fill Yankee Stadium 9 times a day. Plastic Straws are in the top 10 items found annually in International Coastal Clean-Ups, like our Beach Sweep. They are very much a part of the ocean’s microplastic problem. Marine mammals, corals and birds are all affected by it.  The 2020 review shows more than 900 species, including seabirds and fish, are affected by plastic consumption and entanglement.  This is three times the 1997 estimate of 297 species!  Most documented large marine animals impacted by plastic are sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals – dolphins, seals and whales.

Businesses can change the level of pollution by saving money and waste by simply serving straws on request.  This would be a win-win for all!

Garden Club Presentation of “Drift” October 28, 2022

The Garden Club presentation of the film “Drift” on October 28, 2022 was well attended and enthusiastically received. The show was held at the Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts and Sciences who, along with the Garden Club, co-sponsored it  with   the Save Barnegat Bay organization. The movie told the story of Barnegat Bay through the voices of people who live, work or visit the bay and who wish to preserve it for future generations. The film highlighted the effects of Super Storm Sandy on bay communities, the pristine environment of the Cedar Creek watershed in contrast to the degraded areas of the Tom’s River watershed, and the growing issue of jellyfish in the bay. After the 70 minute film, questions and answers were fielded by Save Barnegat Bay Executive Director Britta Fosberg  and Gaven Shwahla.

Photos: Jeannette Michelson

Ocean County Recycling Center October 25, 2022

On October 25,2022, Helen Comba, Judy Lipman, Barbara Reynolds, Cathy Steppacher, Marilyn Upton and Mary Wilding, Environmental Chair, visited the Ocean County Recycling Center located in Lakewood, NJ. Our resourceful tour guide, Marc Rudman, General Manager of Atlantic Coast
Recycling, showed us the recycling process.

The mountains of recycling in the cavernous warehouse were memorable.  It was great to know all that “stuff” is being diverted from the landfill.  Four hundred TONS PER DAY are processed!  Using loaders, conveyor belts, optical sorters and manpower, etc., the various items are sorted.  It was interesting to learn that 20% of what is collected however is “residue” and does go to the landfill!

China stopped taking our recycling in 2019.  Now it is sent to India and Taiwan.  What used to sell for $200 a ton goes for $78 a ton.  Currently the facility is losing money every day.  The lessons learned are:

  • There is value in consuming less (especially single use plastic). 
  • Do your best to recycle according to the rules – no “wishful recycling,” 
  • When in doubt, throw it out so you don’t contaminate the load. 

For more information about the Ocean County Recycling Center, click on the link below:

Ocean County Recycling Center




Did you know the average American uses 100 gallons of water per day? Despite recent rain falls, New Jersey continues to operate under a drought watch. The State is asking residents and businesses to moderate their use of water to help protect their water supplies.

For more information and what YOU can do, please visit the DEP/NJ site at:



Spotted Lantern Fly
* This invasive flying insect has now been found to be present in all counties of New Jersey.
*  Spectacularly beautiful, but harmful to grapes, apple, cherry and peach trees and 70 ornamentals including lilac, maple and dogwood.
*  Harms plants by sucking and destroying sap at all its life stages.
*  Removing eggs from bark and other surfaces by scraping is the most effective preventative known at this time.  Wrapping tree trunks with sticky tape or netting and removing dead lantern flies is also helpful.
* Please check the website to see the lantern fly in each life stage:  
*  If you see the lanternfly, please report to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. Go to www.badbug.nj.gov click on the picture of the SLF, scroll down to the reporting tool and fill in the information.