TimDillinghamAmerican Littoral Society exec director Tim Dillingham (pictured here with piping plover pal) is the special guest speaker, during a public-invited event hosted by the Brookdale Community College Environmental Club on Monday evening.

If Dr. Seuss’s character The Lorax speaks for the trees, then in Tim Dillingham the native species of our coastal waterways have an articulate advocate who’s proud to “represent the fish.”

As Executive Director of the American Littoral Society since 2003, Dillingham has been a vocal and visible steward for the mission of the environmental organization first founded in that pre-Earth Day era of 1961 — whether donning suit and tie as a gubernatorial appointee to high-level advisory councils and panels, or wading into the region’s waters to conserve the ecological connections between horseshoe crabs and migratory shorebirds. On Monday evening, January 26, the director ventures inland for a visit to the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College, where he’ll assess the health of New Jersey’s ocean environment — and the always-uneasy relationship between inhabited coastlines and uninhibited seas — in a free, public-invited meeting.

A presentation of the Brookdale Environmental Club with the Jersey Shore (Monmouth) Sierra Group, the 6 pm event is scheduled to focus on the need to restore and protect our coastal habitat in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, with an emphasis on strategies for addressing the predicted sea level rise in the decades to come. It’s a topic that remains a hot-button issue, as proponents of economic development  argue with environmental and zoning advocates to determine how to rebuild sustainable shore communities.

According to Dillingham, “When we restore habitat, our objective is not only to restore a dune or rebuild an oyster reef, but also to motivate people to invest ‘sweat equity’ into a piece of the coast, take ownership and become committed stewards.”

The presentation, part of BCC’s Science Monday lecture series, will take place inside the Twin Lights Rooms of the Student Life Center (SLC) building. The 6:30 talk is preceded by a pizza-and-subs buffet at 6 pm, and parking in lot 7 is recommended (take it here for a campus map if alternative parking is needed).