Green

Students Statewide Join Together for New Jersey Clean Communities Council’s Annual Environmental Exchange

c37987c3e73e3e99ab02_rsz_img_5738.jpg
Michael Ewin, a worker with the Toms River Department of Public Works, accepts bags of trash from students who cleaned up a portion of Ortley Bearch at Third Street.
7d4e7b286c91b1ef0031_rsz_img_5739.jpg
Students fan out across the sand in Ortley beach to pick up trash as part of the annual Environmental Student Exchange.
ef45e29830a82658f54b_rsz_img_5742.jpg
Taking a break from all the learning at the Environmental Student Exchange in Toms Rivers.​
0e5ac94a81e2d1a5b56a_rsz_img_5743.jpg
Irvin Echeverria, 15, (left) and Roderick Isaac, 15, both freshman at Cicely Tyson High School in East Orange, check out Cattus Island in Toms River, as part of the Environmental Exchange.
ff426f384b6c3aa83616_rsz_img_8550.jpg
Nicholas Diambrosio, 14, an eighth grader at Williamstown Middle School in Monroe, Gloucester County, (at right), with his friend and classmate Michael Martino, 13, at the student exchange.
c37987c3e73e3e99ab02_rsz_img_5738.jpg

There was plenty of time for serious discussion about discarded plastic bags in public parks, about trash in urban waterways and ways to ensure school buildings recycle as much paper as possible.

And the annual Environmental Exchange – concluding tomorrow – included plenty of hands-on opportunities for 130 students from across the state to pick up litter, participate in scavenger hunts and learn ways in which they can become better stewards of the land they will one day inherit.

The event is run each year through the New Jersey Clean Communities Council (NJCCC), which works to ensure a strong cross-section of students from throughout the state participate in the program. This year, there were 130 students from 11 schools in attendance, said NJCCC Executive Director Sandy Huber, who secures new host communities each year and oversees every facet of the program.

Sign Up for E-News

Students began their work this morning on the sands in Ortley Beach, as they battled frigid winds to scour for discarded items. Everything was collected into large plastic bags and handed off to the Toms River Department of Public Works, which will recycle what it can and send the rest to a landfill. From there, the students went to Cattus Island County Park, with stunning vistas of Barnegat Bay, for lunch and more activities.

The work resumed back at a local hotel, where the students attended various workshops and made presentations of ways in which they can educate peers about becoming more environmentally aware and active. That activity, too, included plenty fun, as organizers included a disc jockey in the mix.

For Nicholas Diambrosio, 14, an eighth grader at Williamstown Middle School in Monroe, Gloucester County, this is the second consecutive year he has participated in the Environmental Exchange. It is part of his involvement in the school’s “Braves Club,” which addresses such pressing issues as dwindling pollination and toxic algae blooms.

Diambrosio spent the morning picking up various items from the beach, from wood, to rope to dog poop. “Yup, I was wearing gloves and we picked up stuff with a claw,” he said, with a laugh. “This is all part of my goal of becoming an environmental leader in Monroe and teaching my friends about the importance of recycling and keeping public areas clean.”

His buddy, Michael Martino, 13, chimed in, adding, that Braves Club is a lot of fun, “identifying what is wrong and figuring out how to fix it.” The boys noted the most fun of the morning was trying to identify a piece of wood they found on the beach, which carried a strange amount of rusted hooks, nails, nuts and bolts. “Hey, maybe its from a pirate ship,” Martino said. “Or probably a pier.”

One teacher enjoying the scene was Giselle Gomes, who teaches biology at Passaic High School. She runs the school’s environmental sciences club and has ongoing projects with the students participating in the Environmental Exchange. Six of them are pushing for a large recycling bin at the high school for all the wasted paper, while the others are trying to educate bodega owners and the public about how those small plastic shopping bags blow around public parks.

“This program is a great way for students across the state to work together to solve problems,” Gomes said, as she watched the kids run around Cattus Island getting to know one another. “This is a great opportunity for our students, from an urban school, to come out here and to enjoy the beach, while learning valuable lessons.”

Learn more about the NJCCC at NJClean.org

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - June 22, 2018

TRENTON - Well, the state Legislature passed a budget yesterday. But that matters little in the overall drama, as it now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy and his sharp red pen. The governor still remains as odds with his Democratic counterparts who left a meeting with him yesterday claiming no progress. He's "completely dishonest with us," charges Senate President Steve Sweeney.

The Jaffe Briefing - June 21, 2018

TRENTON - No one questions that the state pension system is a mess. And that's why some proposed legislation is getting a critical eye. Politico says the Assembly is set to vote on a bill today that it claims is "expressly written" to fatten the pensions of Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) and state Sen. James Beach (D-Camden) without them having to ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 20, 2018

STATEWIDE - What? So you are saying the state's pawn shops, second-hand stores and scrap metal yards are mob-infested? How could that possibly be? Well, just ask the scrappy State Commission of Investigation, which issued the 100-page report yesterday detailing how the mob is encouraging drug addicts to steal items to fuel this in-the-dark industry. Not only are these ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 19, 2018

TRENTON - It is June. That must mean our state lawmakers are yelling at each other over the proposed state budget, which must be adopted by the end of the month or government shuts down. Some media is refraining from coverage of the daily blow-by-blow, as the typical resident just assumes taxes will go up, no matter what. But, here is the latest. Gov. Phil Murphy has his proposed ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 18, 2018

DOWN THE SHORE - If you see all those mega-mansions on the beach, and admit to being just a wee bit jealous, here's something to quietly smile about: All of those glorious homes will likely be underwater.  NJ Spotlight reports rising sea levels make the New Jersey coast particularly vulnerable, with the Garden State ranking second to Florida with the biggest chronic risk ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 15, 2018

JERSEY CITY - Should topless women be allowed in the city?  That's the big issue consuming the City Council these days, as members continue to debate 1980s-era obscenity laws. There was supposed to be a vote at the council meeting on Wednesday, but it didn't happen. Before there is a vote, it appears the goal is to wrangle support of all nine members of the City Council. The nagging ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ddc39ed03fc98f8d63ea_spb-4980_aug_18_newsletter

Sun, June 24, 12:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

York Revolution vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Carousel_image_9a05e9eb1fc484ef55d3_spb-4980_aug_8_newsletter

Sun, June 24, 12:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Long Island Ducks vs. Somerset Patriots

Arts & Entertainment Sports

Carousel_image_0261cd4c5700fd63e54b_spb-4937_newsletter_june_24

Sun, June 24, 1:00 PM

TD Bank Ballpark, Bridgewater

Somerset Patriots vs. Southern Maryland Blue ...

Rutgers-led “Tick Blitz” finds exotic Longhorned Ticks statewide

June 5, 2018

New Brunswick, N.J. - Researchers at  University–New Brunswick’s Rutgers Center for Vector Biology have found exotic longhorned ticks in four New Jersey counties – and confirmed that these northeast Asian ticks have been present in the Garden State since at least 2013.

The new detection of these ticks in Mercer County was made through the first-ever statewide ...

Rutgers football stadium has a new name

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Many still call it Rutgers Stadium.

But for seven years, the university's football stadium has been known as High Point Solutions Stadium, thanks to a $600,000 annual agreement with a Sparta-based company. But, as the company has shifted its marketing, so has the stadium's name.

So, now, Rutgers is officially home to "HighPoint.com Stadium" for the 2018 ...

Composer lyrisicist Sondheim at Rutgers, tells would-be writers ‘it’s hard work’

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Acclaimed Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim says his work is less about talent and more about the labor and drudgery of “hard work.”

“It’s not about waiting for inspiration. It’s not about talent,” Sondheim said Friday while speaking before an audience at Rutgers University’s Nicholas Music Center.

“You ...

City recognizes New Brunswick ball player inducted into women’s Hall of Fame

June 22, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Chris Dailey grew up in the city, and played basketball for St. Peter's High School and  Rutgers University, and was on the team that won a national AIAW championship her senior year in college.

She became an assistant coach at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., then was an assistant to Rutgers coach Theresa Grentz before becoming an assistant coach on ...

OPINION

New Brunswick journalism teacher offers thanks

June 22, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick,

As the year comes to a close, I want to offer you my sincere thanks for how you positively impacted my students this year.

In their end of year reflections, the students recounted what it meant for them to get their stories published.  Assignments were no longer something just connected to a grade, it was also connected to their passion.

The positive ...

Promise Culinary School Slates Open Houses June 21 and 22 In New Brunswick with Tours, Tastings, Prizes

June 20, 2018

Promise Culinary School will host open houses for the community and prospective students on Thursday, June 21, from noon to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Friday, June 22, from noon to 4 p.m. at 211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. The events are free and open to the public.

The events will include kitchen tours, demonstrations, tastings, raffles and prizes. Tours and activities will be ...

Ensure Safe Sleep While Traveling with Baby

June 6, 2018

As we approach the summer, there will be plenty of expected travel for families, from visiting grandma at the beach to heading out on a long, well-deserved vacation. 

When staying overnight at a friend’s or family’s place, it is important to maintain the same sleep practices as you do at home. Your baby should be sleeping in a safe, modern crib that meets the latest ...