East Hampton Middle School Club Wins Surfrider Award

East Hampton Middle School Surfrider Club John Ryan Jr.

The East Hampton Middle School's Surfrider Club, an after-school program, has received an Outstanding Club Award from the Surfrider Foundation, a national organization dedicated to protecting the world's oceans and beaches through a network of activists.

In a letter dated March 1, Chad Nelson, the foundation's chief executive officer, congratulated the middle school, noting that it was one of only three recipients of the award for 2016. "The award is presented to our supporters who have gone the extra mile in their efforts on behalf of the Surfrider Foundation," he wrote.

John Ryan Jr., a sixth-grade math teacher and the club's adviser, said the approximately 20 students who belong to it were thrilled by the news. The club was introduced at the middle school five years ago.

Of its many accomplishments, Mr. Ryan said, the students are most proud of the recycling program they introduced at the school. As a result, nonrefundable containers are collected and taken to the town's recycling center, while refundable beverage containers are deposited at the Stop and Shop supermarket on Newtown Lane. The group collected $500 from refunds on bottles and cans, which was used toward buying recycling bins for the school.

The club also works with Amber Waves, an organic farm in Amagansett, to assist in planting and harvesting produce. On April 20, its members will learn about sea turtles in a virtual field trip presented by the Florida Oceanographic Society via Skype. On April 22 -- Earth Day -- the club will once again be part of the Shoreline Sweep, an annual beach cleanup led by the East Hampton Group for Wildlife. And at the end of April, students will plant approximately 50 white spruce saplings throughout the community.