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.

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


Pictured in photo: Mary Wilding, Carol Freas and Leslie Karvan

The Environmental Committee participated in the Fall Beach Sweep on October 22, 2022. Mary Wilding, Environmental Chair, along with Carol Freas, Leslie Karvan and Barbara Reynolds, walked the beach and dunes at 8th and 9th Streets in Ship Bottom. The team noticed there was not much debris on the beach but lots of garbage on the dunes! The majority was plastic of various sorts.  The plastic category has many categories. The highest number of specific items were cigarette filters, 149 or 43% which was the total plastics category. Many bags/wrappers, 68 or 19% and wrappers, plastic pieces amounting to 49 or 14% were also collected. Takeout items (cups, utensils, lids, condiments, straws) tallied at 37 or 11% of total plastics. 

Other categories included personal protective equipment, balloons, rubber, metal, paper, cloth, wood and glass. Paper was by far the category with the most number of items, 110  or 77%, at this location.  The team agreed it was encouraging to see a dramatic lack of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, balloons and balloon strings.  It is a good idea to always take a collection container whenever you are able to walk on the beach or anywhere and reduce litter!


Photos: Helen Comba, Michele Farias and Diane Macrides

 On Saturday, October 8, 2022, the Garden Club of Long Beach Island participated in the 4th Annual Shellabration sponsored by Long Beach Township and Jetty Rock Foundation.  The event  was held at the Municipal Parking Lot in Long Beach Township.  Shellabration  supports the Oyster Shell Recycling Program which is designed to increase awareness about the aquaculture of Barnegat Bay with emphasis on oyster bed restoration.  The event highlighted the practice of  LBI restaurants collecting oyster shells which are then returned to the bay to become the future habitat for a new generation oysters. This practice also provides renewed habitats for many other species which then improves the overall health and diversity of the bay.

Rosie, the Recycling Hero, made an appearance and  was chicly turned out with all the new items that can now be recycled in Ocean County.  Information was available about  reducing plastic pollution along with updated information about  the spotted lantern fly.  The Environmental Spinning Wheel challenged guests with interesting environmental questions.“I think the idea of creating painted clam shells with children at events like Shellabration is a super idea.  The Committee enjoyed creating shells back when Covid was restricting travel. Members of our club placed the shells in communities to bring smiles to residents and visitors with eye-catching nautical scenes and environmental phrases reminding them to be good stewards,” said Michele Farias, president of the Garden Club of LBI.

Huge thanks to Mary Wilding, Environmental Chair, her committee and many other members of the Garden Club of Long Beach Island who volunteered their time to educate our community. Together we can make a difference!


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:


Hooked on Fishing-Not Drugs Youth Fishing Challenge August 2022

Rosie the Recycler and “Hooked On Fishing” participant.

On August 13, 2022, a beautiful, breezy Saturday, was perfect for the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program’s Youth Fishing Challenge held in Sunset Park, Harvey Cedars.  It was a free event to promote fishing among youths and their families. The Hooked on Fishing volunteers did a wonderful job of providing instruction for the fishing gear and support while everyone went fishing on the beach  When they returned to the park for lunch and weighing in their catch, there were activities such a K-9 presentation and a most abundant distribution of prizes. Unfortunately, the helicopter landing was canceled due to high winds.

Mary Wilding, Environmental Chair, along with Helen Comba and Judy Lipman, were on hand to provide information on plastic pollution, spotted lantern flies and a variety of activities. There were opportunities for families to meet Rosie the Recycler who was covered head- to- toe with #1, #2 and #5 plastic containers.  Tin foil, polystyrene foam takeout food containers, single use plates, food trays and utensils were displayed on  Rosie. These items can now be recycled along with previously recyclable  aluminum cans, glass containers ,corrugated cardboard, paper etc. Rosie made a striking appearance!

Visitors were shown the many ways to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle plastic as well as other positive environmental actions.  Guests were also able to sign a pledge to begin one activity. Stickers promoting “I AM THE SOLUTION TO PLASTIC POLLUTION” were given out to all.  Activity sheets with environmental information and tattoos of the spotted lantern fly were added to the fishermen’s stash of take-home items.  A very good time was had by all and hopefully environmental awareness increased!

For more information about the NJDEP/Fish & Wildlife Hooked on Fishing – Not Drugs website, click below:


Noteworthy Recycling News September 2021

Clean aluminum foil is now recyclable.

We can now throw aluminum foil that is clean into our single stream recycling bins for pickup. This new addition also includes clean foil take-out containers and pans.  We can also now recycle chipboard used in containers for cereal boxes, baking mixes, pasta, toilet paper and paper towel rolls etc.  In addition, you should leave bottle caps on #1, #2, and #5 plastic or glass containers.

If you would like a visual representation, Just click on the link:  http://www.co.ocean.nj.us/OC/SolidWaste/frmRegContentSW.aspx?ID=e74c1d05-011a-4c24-b481-0fd7cab6c1f0

Industrialization of Our Oceans

 H.R. 1146: the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act  passed  in Congress. This bill restored protection to the Arctic Refuge’s Coastal Plain from the impact on the environment of oil and gas drilling.

Two additional bills were introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives regarding offshore drilling.  H.R. 205:  Protecting & Securing Florida’s Coastline Act of 2019, passed in the 116th Congress (2019-2020) but has not been re-introduced in the new Congress.  H.R. 1941:  Coastal & Marine Economies Protection Act, to protect the nation’s offshore waters to new drilling, including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the eastern Gulf of Mexico near Florida and also protect 50 National Coastal Parks passed in the House of Representatives on 9/11/2019 as well as in the 116th congress.  It also has not been reintroduced in the new Congress.  While the bills have not passed, there are current efforts to push for a ban on offshore oil and gas leasing off the East Coast and other areas in the federal budget request that is being debated right now in the US Congress.

Industrialization of our ocean is taking place off the coast of New Jersey with the construction of wind turbines.  In 2015, NJ’s Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Management sold leases for roughly 160,000 acres from Ocean City north to Atlantic City . In 2018 an additional lease for 183,000 acres was sold for the area from Atlantic City to Barnegat Light.  Construction is expected to begin in 2023. Currently there is a proposed sale for an additional nearly 800,000 acres of offshore wind development on the Outer Continental Shelf off the New York/New Jersey coast.

The need to switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources is an ongoing goal in New Jersey. Our state has one of the most ambitious national goals of 35% of energy sold to be from renewable resources by 2025 and 50% by 2035.  Wind power addresses that goal. However,  there is  concern about expanding the area to be industrialized without having adequate information regarding the impact on the marine environment.  Efforts continue to advocate for comprehensive, coordinated studies to provide guidance.

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.