Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, announced his retirement recently. He will have served as the NJSC director for 23 years when he retires on May 1, 2021. He has been involved in every major environmental legislation passing in New Jersey for close to two decades. Just some of his legislative and regulatory lobbying achievements include passage of the California Car Law, the Highlands Act, New Jersey’s Global Warming Response Act, New Jersey’s Fertilizer Law, and NJ’s Electronic Waste Recycling Law. He also worked to pass New Jersey’s Plastic Bag Ban last year, which is one of the most comprehensive in the country, and helped get the Delaware River Basin Commission to pass a fracking ban.
“It has been a privilege and one of the greatest opportunities of my life to work for the Sierra Club for 23 years. I have fought tirelessly to protect New Jersey’s natural resources, such as the Highlands and Pinelands…. Through my environmental activism, I hope that I made New Jersey a better place for all of us.
“This has been a tough decision for me…. However, after being an activist for most of my life, having COVID and being home for over a year, I think that I need to move on to the next phase.
“I come from a family of activists. My first sit-in was when I was four. A few years later I went to the 1963 March on Washington with my family, and I have attended hundreds more marches since then. Growing up on the Newark Hillside border, I learned about the meaning of Environmental Justice and the importance of activism from an early age. When you threw matches at the stream it would flare up….
“This year will be my 51st Earth Day. For the first Earth Day, I organized the clean up of the Elizabeth River in Hillside when I was in Junior High…. I will always be some type of activist. It’s in my DNA.”