You are the owner of this article.

N.J. awards South Jersey groups for plastic bag ban efforts

Surfrider Foundation

Beth Kwart - Chair of the Surfrider Foundation's South Jersey Chapter, Longport Mayor Nick Russo, Diane Birkbeck of the Ventnor Green Team, Steve Jasecki of the Sustainable Downbeach, Monica Coffey of Sustainable Downbeach, and Meaghan Netherby of Surfrider's South Jersey Chapter.

Two South Jersey environmental groups were awarded by Gov. Phil Murphy for their efforts to reduce plastic pollution on Absecon Island.

The Surfrider Foundation's South Jersey Chapter and Sustainable Downbeach won the Governor's Environmental Excellence Award for their work to cut down on plastic bag use and balloon releases in Atlantic City, Ventnor, Margate and Longport.

In 2015, Longport became the first municipality in the state to ban plastic and paper bags for carry-out at its businesses after the groups lobbied local leaders.

About 15 other towns in New Jersey have followed suit since then. Earlier this year, Ventnor passed a five cent fee for single-use plastic bags. It includes a $100 fine for businesses that violate the ordinance.

The groups also pushed for the 2017 passage of an ordinance banning intentional balloon releases on Absecon Island.

The groups won in Healthy and Sustainable Communities award, one of eight different categories.

"We are just thrilled to receive this award for our work fighting plastic pollution," said Beth Kwart, chair of the Surfrider Foundation's South Jersey Chapter in a press release. "We've worked so hard and for so long to help people and communities Rise Above Plastics in the South Jersey area."

​Contact: 609-272-7258

Twitter @AvalonZoppo

Load comments



Submit all material to


  • Include the complete name of the group, school or other organization; where it’s located and what area it serves; the name and title, if applicable, of the person submitting the information; a person to contact with questions and whether the contact is only for us or for the public as well.
  • Information should be formatted as little as possible, without tabs or tables.
  • Photos should be high-resolution and emailed as an attachment. Include the names of the people in the photos and, if applicable, any relevant titles or relationships. Indicate how to determine who is who, such as “front row, from left.”


  • Take a picture when you travel of you or your group with one of our weeklies. Send us the picture with names, hometowns and the name of the place you visited.


  • Letters must be fewer than 400 words and received by 9 a.m. Monday for publication the same week.


  • Information to be included in event or trip listings must be submitted online at Scroll down to where it says “Submit an event.” Click on “Go to Form.”
  • You are required to sign in using a username and password. If you have previously made an account, log in using the username and password you created. If you have NOT previously made an account with us, click on “Register Here” (under the Sign In button).
  • Once you have created a username and password, you will be taken to the calendar form. Fill out the form with the relevant information. Please remember that less is best for calendar listings. Note: If you include a website, it must be the full address. For example,, not