About Us 

Mordecai Land Trust was founded in 2001 as a community-based organization whose mission is to preserve Mordecai Island as a habitat for breeding and migratory species of indigenous birds and fish and to protect large portions of Beach Haven proper from flooding. Mordecai Island is a 45 acre, uninhabited coastal marsh island in Barnegat Bay, NJ. Mordecai is located near Beach Haven Borough and is adjacent to the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, the main navigation channel of Barnegat Bay. The island’s native salt marsh and surrounding waters provide a variety of habitat supporting aquatic and avian species. Habitat includes eelgrass beds in shallow, protected areas, intertidal zones, coastal wetlands, salt ponds and uplands.

The Challenge

The island has experienced accelerated erosion and has lost approximately 26 acres (37%) since 1930, which is due to a realignment of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway by the Army Corps of Engineers, storms, boat wake, and sea level rise. During this same time period, Barnegat Bay has also seen many miles of shoreline bulkheaded and tremendous residential development. Replacing natural land-water interface with bulkheads and riprap has contributed to the elimination of crucial parts of the coastal ecosystem that thrives at the edge of the marsh. Since Mordecai Island provides vital habitat for many species of fish, plants, migratory and breeding birds (including threatened species) as well as mollusks and crabs, the loss of three to four feet per year has caused great concern.

What we do

The Mordecai Land Trust’s mission to preserve and protect Mordecai Island includes protecting the sizable amount of property on LBI that it shields from storm surge and damaging winds. As an all-volunteer non-profit tax exempt organization, we work with NJFW, USFW, NJDEP, NOAA, ReClam the Bay, and the US Army Corps of Engineers in our anti-erosion and living shoreline work to help protect the diverse groups of species that reside, feed, migrate or nest on the island.

Our Governance

Linda L. Colgan


Jim Dugan


Michele M. Budd


Deb Harkness


Kathleen Birch


Alyce Tatlow


Board of Trustees


2023 2024 2025
Nancy Lampman Ken Gallant Kathleen Birch
Joe O’Neill Pat Miller Deborah Harkness
Shelley Spicer Lynne Neff Richard McOrmond
Laura Darling Bill Pilling* Norrie Oelkers
Ben Condon Jeanne Runne* Elaine Stevens
Dr. Susanne Moskalski Dr. John Wnek Alyce Tatlow


Executive Committee:

Dr. Nancy Davis, 2025

Linda L. Colgan,* 2024

Hayden Baker, 2023

Michele M. Budd, 2023

Tom Cox, III, 2025

Jim Dugan, 2025 

Ex officio Board Member (past president) Non- Voting:

Richard G. Oelkers*

*Denotes past president

The IRS  has determined that the Mordecai Land Trust is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (“Code”) and not a private foundation pursuant to sections 509(a)(1) and 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) of the Code. Mordecai Land Trust was established in 2001.

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Breaking News: Mordecai Island Ecosystem Restoration Project Advances into Design and Implementation with US Army Corps