Here you can find information about the Mantoloking Environmental Commission, announcements, newsletters, and other resources promoting environmental stewardship.
Mission Statement of the Mantoloking Environmental Commission (March 2013)
“The Mantoloking Environmental Commission seeks to improve the environmental quality of our land, bay, and ocean. Through education and outreach, the Commission encourages citizens to incorporate environmentally responsible practices into homes, gardens, and daily life. The Commission’s goal is to improve the health of the land and the surrounding waters while reducing the potential to harm the environment.”
The Commission meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Mantoloking Yacht Club Sailing Center. Meetings begin promptly at 5:00 p.m.
The Environmental Commission has a Seaside Gardening Primer available for all residents. The primer contains helpful hints and suggestions for “going native” with your landscaping. Click here for more information.
News and Updates From the Environmental Commission:
Did you know that Americans dispose of 4.5 lbs of trash per person per day? And, that 53% of what we discard is compostable! And, it all ends up in landfills which are almost at capacity. And, if you put garbage into your disposal it winds up at the wastewater treatment facility, adding additional waste load to the facility and increasing treatment costs. So the question is; “How can I reduce my trash production?”
Well, you can start building a compost pile. And if you start now and it will be ready by next Spring! Everyday items such as kitchen scraps, coffee grounds and yard waste (nitrogen) as well as toilet paper rolls and paper towels and rolls, cardboard coffee cups, and dryer lint (carbon), make up a significant amount of your waste. Nitrogen and carbon ingredients, balanced correctly, are essential to the success of composting.
The benefits of nutrient-rich compost to your garden are numerous. Compost reduces the amount of water usage, it loosens the soil for better drainage, and protects the soil from erosion and compaction. In addition, you will realize a reduction in the amount of weeds. There is great satisfaction to be had when you realize that in a few months, your garbage can end up looking like rich, crumbly brown soil which can be used inside your gardens instead of in landfills!
For more information about composting, please contact MEC member, Eileen McIntyre: firstname.lastname@example.org. She will email useful materials on how to properly make your own backyard pile!
The Mantoloking environment and the surrounding Barnegat Bay watershed is very susceptible to pollution from activities that take place on our properties and in our homes. Lawn fertilizers, soaps and other treatments contribute nitrogen and other contaminants to the Bay, and pet waste is also a factor. Much of what runs off of your property enters a storm drain leading directly to the bay.
Here are a few tips to help minimize your impact:
- Avoid over-fertilizing and over-watering your lawns and gardens, to minimize runoff.
- When selecting household cleaners, choose phosphate free products – including laundry soap, dishwasher soup, and car wash soap.
- Be mindful of what you use near, or allow to pass down a storm drain.
- Always pick up after your pet – pet waste can contribute nitrogen, phosphorous, parasites, and bacteria to water bodies.
- When washing your car, wash it on a pervious surface (to avoid runoff), or use a commercial car wash that must capture and recycle their waste water.
- Landscape with native plants (that often require less fertilizer and water), and encourage your landscaper to minimize the use fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides.
More information and resources about these topics can be found here:
Living near Barnegat Bay and the ocean, as we do here in Mantoloking, it is important to avoid using fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides on our properties as much as possible. Lawn treatment chemicals can leach into the waterways polluting the water and harming the aquatic life that lives there. The following is a recipe for a natural weed killer which is very effective, and safe, for use around your home.
Put a 1/4 cup of salt into 1 cup of white vinegar (or portion accordingly) and add to 2-3 gallons of water. Also add a bit of liquid dish washing soap to help the solution stick to the weeds.
Spray apply the solution directly to the weeds being careful not to have the solution touch your grass, flowers etc . as it will kill them too.
The application of this natural weed killer will not only help protect the Bay and ocean, but will also help to keep you and your neighbors’ children, grand-children, and pets safe.
Pesticides, insecticides, herbicides OH MY!….
While we do not live in the Emerald City we do want to live in a “green community”. We have all been encouraged to utilize natural and/or organic pesticides, insecticides, herbicides. We see many organic brands on the shelves of hardware stores and garden enters. We use these lawn treatment chemicals to make our lawns more beautiful. And yet, as beach and bay residents we need to be cautious to prevent pollution of our natural resources while also being protective of our children, grandchildren and pets who play and spend time on our yards.
Following the steps below, you will help protect all of the aforementioned.
Step One– Do you need to use a lawn treatment chemical?!… Remember there are alternative control measures–i.e. planting resistant varieties or pruning. If you decide a lawn treatment chemical is necessary, then-
Step Two– Select a lawn treatment chemical that has the least potential to create a problem. Products that are highly water soluble may contaminate water supplies since they do not adhere to soil particles. AVOID these products.
Step Three– Proper mixing and application of lawn treatment chemicals. Read the directions. When you follow proper procedures for mixing, you reduce the risk of accidents. Never mix more chemical than you need. Never use the same equipment for different types of lawn treatment chemicals. i.e. if you apply a herbicide to lawn and then use the same sprayer to apply insecticide to plantings, you may damage the plantings. Be aware of weather. Avoid applying lawn treatment chemicals when rain is forecasted or if it is windy. Your application has the potential to contaminate unintended property. Make sure that your application will cause no harm to humans or pets.
Step Four– Proper cleanup, storage and disposal. Most products will describe your cleanup process. If not, refer to websites such as Rutgers Cooperative Extension (njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs) or guidelines from our county.
By employing informed application techniques of lawn treatment chemicals around our homes, we can protect our beach and bay, help insure the wellbeing of our children and grandchildren, and the health of our pets. Think the idiom—Less is More.
MAY FLOWERS and “visitors” are arriving. While we all are enjoying the glorious color our flowers, shrubs and trees are bringing to us, it is also a time to LOOK for unwanted growth. We suggest you INSPECT all the trees and shrubs on your property . Cut any ivy or vine like-weeds that will choke and eventually kill your tree or shrub. Wear long sleeves whenever possible. Then pull out the vines from below. If you cannot to this by yourself, consider asking a professional to so. Digging these “visitors” out from the base will stifle their regrowth…
MAY also brings Mother’s Day… May 8,2016.. Hopefully many of us will have children and/or grandchildren at our homes. As parents and grandparents, we have the responsibility to teach our kids to care for our world. Take the time this Mother’s Day to do or to teach one “green” activity. It can be something simple. A great website for tips for kids can be found at www.earthsaversclubforkids.com.
EARTHDAY is celebrated on APRIL 22nd this year. It is a day and time of the year that many of us begin work on our outdoor yards and lawns. With that in mind, consider practicing these suggestions: (1) Mow lawns ONLY as needed keeping grasses long. Longer grass retains water better and crowds out many weeds. (2) DO NOT over mulch!!
Rather, plant low growing ground covers. Ground covers provide nutrients for the soil and keep unwanted runoff of materials such as mulch from clogging the drainage systems of our roads and streets. (3) CONSERVE water by reducing the amount of water-needed landscaping. Increasing native plantings helps promote a yard which can tolerate low water usuage. It is better to water deeply but infrequently. More suggestions can be found @ earthshare.org.
So… April Showers will bring May flowers… You and perhaps a grandchild can volunteer for an Earth Day beach clean up… And, with Arbor Day on April, 29, consider planting or donating a tree… CELEBRATE OUR EARTH.
The use of simple household items can provide a safe and environmental friendly weed killer. Properly applied weed killer made from vinegar, salt, and dish soap can effectively kill weeds and protect the environment. Please see the house weedkiller fact sheet for more information.
This information is being provided by the Mantoloking Environmental Commission.
Resources & Links:
Courtney Bixby (Chair)
Edwin C. O’Malley