Dip a toe into the first wave of “zero waste” art…stick a finger into the winds of environmental activism…try one’s hand at any of the many recreational pursuits of coastal life as Local Summer continues apace on and near the ocean, bay and riverfront shores of our local parks.

The people at the Monmouth County Arts Council define “zero waste” art as that which uses all available materials; creating new objects of beauty and inspiration from formerly discarded castoffs — and when the first-ever Zero Waste Arts Fest comes to the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook this weekend, September 17 and 18, there won’t be a wasted moment or a wasted opportunity for family-friendly fun. Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, the festival highlights partnerships between locally based artists, art galleries and environmental activism organizations, as well as an interactive “live art” project coordinated by Lisa Bagwell (whose recycled-materials sculptures are a colorful and clever commentary on our disposable consumer culture). There’s live music (from Red Bank’s Rockit Live and others), kids’ activities, informative displays from a host of partner organizations, plus giveaways, shuttle bus tours of the Hook, and a whole lot more (including an after-hours Saturday night “1940s swing event” under the stars). Take it here to the All Good section of redbankgreen, for full details on events and entertainers, plus a complete rundown of participating co-sponsors and presenters.

wind-sea-festPaddleboarding and kayaking are just some of the activities on hand when the second annual Wind and Sea Festival comes to Middletown’s Bayshore Waterfront Park tomorrow.

It may represent the geographical outer limits of this place we call the Greater Red Bank Green, but for anyone who hasn’t gotten acquainted with Bayshore Waterfront Park (Port Monmouth Road at Wilson Avenue in Middletown Township), there’s probably no better time than during the Wind and Sea Festival, the second annual edition of which comes to the renovated county facility (next to Monmouth Cove Marina, and incorporating the historic Seabrook-Wilson House as well as views of NYC) tomorrow, September 17. Between the hours of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the folks at the Monmouth County Park System invite all ages to celebrate the Bayshore area’s natural assets through recreational opportunities that include stand-up paddling, kayaking, seining, fishing, kite flying, sand casting, shelling, and more — with live music, food, and informative displays from locally based nonprofits and agencies. It’s a great way to get acquainted with a site whose beach, nature center and fishing pier have come alive with activity in the post-Sandy seasons since Superstorm Sandy, all with free admission and parking (although a select few activities will feature a fee), While the main parking lot will be closed for the duration of the event, parking is available at the nearby Belford Ferry Terminal (10 Harbor Way in Belford), with free shuttle bus transportation running to and from the terminal lot and the park. Call (732)787-3033 for house tour info and other details — and read on for more open-air fun in the late summer sun.